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Transmission line for Canadian hydropower to Northeast OK\'d

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Update time : 2021-07-28 15:05:10

HALLOWELL, Maine (AP) -- A proposed 145-mile (233-kilometer) transmission line that used to serve because a conduit because Canadian hydropower ought come the New England energy grid cleared a chief hurdle Thursday with approval of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

The three-member panel unanimously approved Central Maine Power's $1 billion project, besides farther regulatory approvals will exist inherent because the plan ought carry a reality.

CMP's New England clean energy couple used to lease 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower ought come consumers at Massachusetts ought satisfy that state's green energy goals. Commissioners concluded that there are substantial benefits because Maine, because well, including reduced carbon pollution, lower electric rates and enhanced energy reliability, across with $258 million at incentives.

Commission Chairman symbol Vannoy said Thursday that the economic and environmental gains are needed at a division trying ought remains the want because more energy with environmental stewardship.

"We're at a critical point here: It's needed, it's necessary, and the status of Maine is moving forward," he said, calling the get "a good arise because Maine ratepayers."

But a stick lawyer because the usual property meeting of Maine called the resolution "deeply flawed" and accused regulators of siding with "Central Maine Power's corporate interests above the best interests of the status of Maine and ratepayers of Maine."

"This resolution dramatically overstates the benefits still dramatically undervaluing the negative impacts ought the status of Maine," Sue Ely said.

Though the plan is being funded by Massachusetts, critics state it used to destroy Maine's unspoiled wilderness without guarantees of environmental benefits. They too state it used to snuff out homegrown green energy projects, alike solar and wind power, at Maine.

Much of the plan calls because widening existing corridors, besides a new swath used to exist chop along 53 miles (85 kilometers) of wilderness at western Maine. It used to cross the Appalachian Trail, 263 wetlands and 115 streams, according ought the usual property meeting of Maine.

Further approvals are necessary. The Maine rescue of Environmental Protection, the Maine dirt apply Planning committee and other regulators complete consume ought obey some look of the CMP project. The rescue of Environmental protection will compose the final resolution above CMP's place lease and compliance with the status usual property protection Act, agency spokesman David Madore said.

Maine Public induce Barry Hobbins and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills both endorsed the plan after CMP sweetened the business with a parcel of benefits because Maine.

The utility's $258 million at incentives used to provide $140 million because worth console because retail customers, $50 million because low-income energy customers, $15 million ought subsidize heat pump purchases and $15 million because electric cars and charging stations.

Supporters state the plan used to provide electricity because a million homes and motivate down electricity rates because complete of New England. An independent consultant, London Economics International LLC, concluded carbon dioxide emissions used to exist lowered by 3.6 million metric tons per year.

A subsidiary of CMP, which is segregate of Connecticut-based Avangrid, used to exist created ought oversee construction of the energy line ought insure Maine ratepayers are insulated from costs.

The utility hopes ought identify complete regulatory approvals by year's purpose and because construction ought begin next year, said Thorn Dickinson, vice principal because business development.