Northern Pass backers say agreement to build in New Hampshire likely in 2015; online in 2018

The utility company proposing a 187-mile electrical transmission line across New Hampshire says it's confident state and federal regulators will agree to a proposal by the middle of 2015.

On a call with investors Friday, Northeast Utilities says if the plan is approved, construction could begin on the $1.4 billion Northern Pass in 2016. Power from Canada could begin flowing by the second half of 2018.

Northern Pass would carry 1,200 megawatts of electricity to power-hungry southern New England markets.

Opponents say the mostly overland lines would scar the landscape, cut property values and hurt tourism. They want the company to bury the lines.

Project backers say it would create jobs and provide clean hydropower. They say burying the lines would be too expensive and impractical in a rugged state.