DE 96-061
            Petition for Licenses to Cross Public Waters 
     Order Nisi Approving Electric Lines Over and Across Public Waters
                       O R D E R  N O.  22,860
                          February 24, 1998
                                       The Petitioner, the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative,
     Inc. (NHEC), filed on March 1, 1996 a petition under RSA 371:17
     for authority to maintain electric lines over and across public
     waters in the State of New Hampshire.  The petition specifically
     identifies 68 crossings located in 23 towns which have not been
     previously licensed by the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission).  On April 3, 1996, NHEC filed a
     supplement to its petition in response to the New Hampshire
     Public Utilities Commission Staff's (Staff) request for
     additional information.
         In order to meet the requirements of service to the
     public, NHEC must maintain electric distribution lines over and
     across certain public waters.  These lines are an integral part
     of NHEC's electric system.
          RSA 371:17 defines public waters as "all ponds of more
than ten acres, tidewater bodies, and such streams or portions
thereof as the Commission may prescribe".  The Commission has
defined these waters as "those streams which are commonly used
for navigation".  35 NHPUC 94 (1953).  NHEC and Staff agree that
these crossings fall within this definition.
     NHEC performed an internal review of its electrical
distribution system which uncovered sixty-eight (68) instances
where crossings had not been previously licensed.  Detailed
information regarding the location, construction, and design of
the crossings which NHEC now seeks to license is provided in the
petition.  NHEC hired a contractor to perform the field surveys
at each of the 68 locations.  
     On December 5, 1997, NHEC filed another supplement to
its petition that addressed 29 of the 68 water crossings.  NHEC
contends that these 29 crossings are under 22,000 volts and meet
or exceed all requirements set forth by the National Electric
Safety Code (NESC) and are summarized in the attachment to this
order.  The other 39 crossings are in the process of being re-designed and re-constructed to meet NESC requirements.  This
order specifically addresses only the 29 crossings that meet NESC
requirements.  The remaining 39 crossings will be addressed in a
supplemental order when they have been re-designed to meet NESC
requirements and appropriate documentation has been received,
reviewed, and accepted by this Commission.
     Upon review of the filed documentation, Staff has
verified that all of these clearances do meet the requirements of
the 1997 National Electric Safety Code.  
     The Commission finds such crossings necessary for NHEC
to meet its obligations to serve customers within its authorized
franchise area and to be in the public good.
     Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
     ORDERED  Nisi, that the New Hampshire Electric
Cooperative is authorized, pursuant to RSA 371:17 et seq., to
maintain and operate electric lines over and across the public
waters of the State of New Hampshire at the 29 locations
described in the attachment to this order, in the Towns of
Barnstead, Bartlett(includes Harts Location), Bath, Conway,
Epping, Jackson, Lee, Lisbon, Nottingham, Sandown, and Wentworth,
unless the Commission otherwise directs prior to the proposed
effective date; and it is
     FURTHER ORDERED, that all reconstruction hereafter
performed, to said approved crossings, shall conform to the
requirements of the National Electric Safety Code and all other
applicable safety standards in existence at that time; and it is
     FURTHER ORDERED, that pursuant to N.H. Admin. Rules,
Puc 1601.05, the Petitioner shall cause a copy of this Order Nisi
to be published once in a statewide newspaper of general
circulation, such publication to be no later than March 3, 1998
and to be documented by affidavit filed with this office on or
before March 10, 1998; and it is
     FURTHER ORDERED, that NHEC notify the Towns of
Barnstead, Bartlett(includes Harts Location), Bath, Conway,
Epping, Jackson, Lee, Lisbon, Nottingham, Sandown, and Wentworth
of this matter by serving a copy of this order on the Town Clerk
by first-class mail postmarked no later than March 3, 1998, with
said notification to be verified by affidavit filed on or before
March 10, 1998; and it is  
     FURTHER ORDERED, that all persons interested in
responding to this petition be notified that they may submit
their comments or file a written request for a hearing on this
matter before the Commission no later than March 17, 1998; and it
     FURTHER ORDERED, that any party interested in
responding to such comments or request for hearing shall do so no
later than March 24, 1998; and it is
     FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
effective March 26, 1998, unless the Commission provides
otherwise in a supplemental order issued prior to the effective
date.     By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
Hampshire this twenty-fourth day of February, 1998.

              Douglas L. Patch     Bruce B. Ellsworth     Susan S. Geiger
                  Chairman            Commissioner         Commissioner

Attested by:

Thomas B. Getz
Executive Director and Secretary
Petition Reference#
Town  Body of Water  Starting            Line/Pole Ending Line/Pole
 5    Barnstead      Huntress Pond       2A/13     2A/14
 6    Barnstead      Huntress Pond       2A/7K     2A/7L
 10   Bartlett       Saco River          10/216    10/216A
 11   Bartlett       Saco River          10/92     10/93
 14   Bartlett       East Branch River   520/156   520/157
 15   Bartlett       East Branch River   TR340     TR341
 17   Bartlett       Ellis River         TR465     TR466
 18   Bartlett       Ellis River         TR509     TR510
 19   Bartlett       Rocky Branch        TR529.5   TR530
 20   Bath           Wild Ammunosic River          4A/28G      4A/28GI
 23   Conway         Saco River          4/11      4/12
 26   Epping         Lamprey River       R2/20     R2/21
 27   Epping         Lamprey River       R2/18     R2/19
 28   Epping         Lamprey River       R2/23     R2/24
 32   Harts Location Saco River          20/ 1/2   20/1
 34   Harts Location Saco River          20/36     20/36A
 36   Jackson        Ellis River         6/137     6/138
 38   Jackson        Wildcat River       6/230     6/231
 42   Jackson        Ellis River         6/44      6/46
 44   Lee            Lamprey River       12/39.5   12/40
 45   Lee            North River         12/20     12/21
 46   Lee            North River         12/32     12/33
 47   Lee            Lamprey River       12C/16R   12C/16S
 48   Lisbon         Ammunosic River     1/14      1/15
 49   Lisbon         Ammunosic River     2X/35     2X/35A
 57   Nottingham     North River         R2/140B   R2/140C
 62   Sandown        Exeter River        14/43     14/44
 66   Wentworth      Baker River         7211/1    7211/2
 67   Wentworth      Baker River         72/202    72/203