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Battle lines clearly have been drawn over Central Maine Power Co.'s $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect project that earlier this year won a joint bid with Hydro-Quebec to deliver deliver 1,200 megawatts of renewable power to Massachusetts for at least 20 years. A key sticking point is the 145-mile transmission line that would have to be built in western Maine linking electricity grids in Quebec with the CMP's existing grid via a new AC/DC converter station in Lewiston. Opponents say the project would harm wildlife habitat and western Maine's natural beauty and would primarily benefit Massachusett's electricity customers and CMP's parent company Avangrid. A report commissioned by the Maine Renewable Energy Association, Natural Resources Council of Maine and Sierra Club asserted the project would not reduce carbon pollution but would enable Hydro-Quebec to profit from “'green-washing' dirty, fossil-fuel power” while discouraging development of new renewable energy generation in Maine. Proponents, including a group of business and labor leaders calling itself "Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs," say the project would save Maine ratepayers approximately $40 million per year for 20 years, provide $88 million in property tax revenues for towns along the transmission corridor, create 1,700 construction-related jobs annually through 2022 and 3,500 jobs at peak construction. The project is now being reviewed by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and Maine Land Use Planning Commission.
Is CMP’s proposed $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect project a good deal for Maine?
Comments

10/29/18 AT 03:51 PM
Yes! The line is needed with so many generators about to retire. The power it brings to the regional market is clean, emissions free, and comes at ZERO cost to Maine ratepayers. It will lower wholesale electricity costs. It will ultimately have minimal impact on the industrial forest, and the rest will go on an existing corridor. It offers broadband opportunities, too, in an area that badly needs broadband. What's not to like? The NIMBY crowd needs to understand that this is essential to Maine's and New England's energy future, and they need to look beyond their own personal agendas to see what's best for the region.

IAAL

LEWISTON
10/29/18 AT 03:50 PM
We need to do our part to help improve the national grid. It is not only important to providing private electricity needs, but our country's national security.

Sanford
10/25/18 AT 09:43 AM
I would like to see how it is going to save the Maine ratepayers $40M per year for 20 years. Someone has to pay for this and I don't see it all being charged to Massachusetts. I think if we are going to bring this power into Maine, it should be used for Maine.

10/24/18 AT 03:30 PM
Those 'clean energy jobs' are all built on the back of grants and subsidies from the federal government [your tax money] that should be going to programs where there is some tangible return on investment. Clean energy jobs wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for subsidies. So go ahead and build the grid and create REAL JOBS that pay taxes and benefits to those working on that infrastructure improvement and leave the subsidies and grants for more worthy causes than subsidizing solar and wind that are completely unreliable.

10/24/18 AT 03:17 PM
Tough question, but I say "no." Last time I checked, Maine was a net exporter of electricity, so this project just makes Maine part of delivery system to import electricity for Massachusetts. Plus, the displacement of Cree and flooding of their homelands in northern Quebec for hydropower is an ever-present unseen cost of this competitively priced power. On top of that, Maine's economic gains from this project will not be enough to offset the impacts on Maine's landscape.

10/24/18 AT 02:23 PM
Approval of this project should be subject to the extension of natural gas pipelines from Massachusetts to Maine to increase national gas capacity and lessen dependence on heating oil.

10/24/18 AT 01:43 PM
I may have missed something but how is shipping power to MA going to save ME ratepayers money?

10/24/18 AT 01:23 PM
Yes, hydro power is clean power and we in the state of Maine can use the property tax relief and electric rate relief. How does this discourage development of new renewable energy generation? Get to work and come up with clean power that is affordable and we will welcome it with open arms. Maine is one of the highest taxed states with super high energy costs...hmmm, I wonder why we are struggling?

10/24/18 AT 01:23 PM
If it was for Maine energy, it would still be a dubiously valid project. but to do that for Massachusetts is just wrong.

10/24/18 AT 12:18 PM
Not as it stands.
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