DE 97-116


                Petition for License to Construct and Maintain
              Electric Lines Over and Across Public Waters of the
                 Pemigewasset River in Thornton, New Hampshire

       Order Nisi Granting License for Electric Lines Over Public Waters

                            O R D E R  N O.  22,935
                                 May 14, 1998

  On June 6, 1997, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative
(NHEC) filed with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
(Commission) a petition pursuant to RSA 371:17 to construct and
maintain a new three phase, 34.5 kV distribution line (extension)
over and across the Pemigewasset River and within the corridor of
the State-owned Concord to Lincoln Railroad in Thornton, New
Hampshire.  The proposed extension will provide opportunities for
substantial, additional employment in the Campton/Thornton region
and promote the continuing growth of tourist attractions for the
  On July 21, 1997, NHEC entered into a temporary
construction agreement with the State of New Hampshire, by and
through the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Bureau of
Rail and Transit, Concord, New Hampshire.  Construction will be
done in upland areas and will have no impact on the surrounding
waters.  Thus, no permit is required from the Department of
Environmental Services' Wetlands Board.  The proposed crossing
will be one span with an overall length of 346 feet.
  NHEC has stated that the use and enjoyment by the
public of the Pemigewasset River will not be diminished in any
material respect as a result of the proposed tie-line.  NHEC has
attested and Staff agrees that the construction of the crossing
will meet or exceed the requirements of the 1997 National
Electrical Safety Code as well as all other applicable safety
  The definition of public waters contained in RSA 371:17
includes "all ponds of more than ten acres, tidewater bodies, and
such streams or portions thereof as the Commission may
prescribe."  The Commission prescribes this crossing to be over
and across public waters.
  The Commission finds such a crossing necessary for NHEC
to meet its obligation to provide reliable electric service
within its authorized franchise area.  Accordingly, we find that
the crossing is in the public good.  Therefore, we will approve
the petition on a Nisi basis in order to provide any interest
party the opportunity to submit comments on said petition or to
request a hearing.
  Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
  ORDERED NISI, that NHEC is authorized, pursuant to RSA
371:17, et seq., to construct and maintain a three phase, 34.5 kV
distribution line over the Pemigewasset River in Thornton, New
Hampshire as well as associated plant depicted in other
documentation on file with this Commission unless the Commission
directs otherwise prior to the proposed effective date; and it is
  FURTHER ORDERED, that all reconstruction hereafter
performed conform to the requirements of the National Electrical
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, NHEC shall cause a copy of this Order Nisi to be
published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town
of Thornton, such publication to be no later than May 21, 1998
and to be documented by affidavit filed with this office on or
before May 28, 1998; and it is
  FURTHER ORDERED, that NHEC notify the Town of Thornton
of this matter by serving a copy of this order on the Town Clerk
by First Class U.S. Mail, said notification to be verified by
affidavit filed on or before May 28, 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 June 4, 1998; and it
  FURTHER ORDERED, that any party interested in
responding to such comments or request for hearing shall do so no
later than June 11, 1998; and it is
  FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
effective June 15, 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 fourteenth day of May, 1998.

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

Attested by:

Thomas B. Getz
Executive Director and Secretary