Eversource Energy said Wednesday that its proposed Northern Pass transmission project won’t be operational until the first half of 2019.
The company had previously said the 187-mile, 1,200-MW line would be delivering Canadian hydropower to the New England energy market by 2018.
The delay is due to the longer-than-expected release of a U.S. Department of Energy draft environmental impact statement, Eversource officials said during the company’s earnings call. The statement had been expected in April, but the company is now expecting its release by June or July.
Approvals are expected in late 2016, with construction beginning shortly thereafter and expected to take about two years. However, even if the project maintains its construction schedule, line testing could not take place during the winter of 2018-2019 and would be delayed until spring, officials said.
Q1 Earnings Up
Eversource reported first-quarter earnings of $253.3 million ($0.80/share), compared with $236 million ($0.74/share) a year ago. These figures include integration costs of $4 million in 2015 and $5.8 million in 2014 related to the merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR. Excluding those costs, Eversource earned $257.3 million ($0.81/share) versus $241.8 million ($0.76/share).
The legal name change of Northeast Utilities to Eversource Energy was approved at the company’s 2015 annual shareholders meeting on April 29. Its stock started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ES ticker symbol in February. The company also reported that Standard & Poor’s upgraded its corporate credit rating to A.
— William Opalka