Maine lawmakers voice objections to CMP power line in letter to Massachusetts regulators

The Democratic and Republican chairmen of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee and the Environment and Natural Resources Committee oppose a $950 million Central Maine Power proposal to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec to markets in Massachusetts, which is trying to use more renewable power sources. Supporters have hailed the new transmission line as a way to bring more renewable energy into the New England market...................Berry said Friday he wants Maine to get a “better deal” from the project, including less of an impact on Maine’s western mountains and on tourism there. He also worries that bringing electricity to New England from a renewable energy source in Canada may create less demand for renewable energy projects in Maine, including solar and wind.

The letter can be read here:

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Comment by Dan McKay on May 6, 2018 at 10:53am

Your concern is well taken, Richard, I am comfortable with the fact this DC line is  inclusive to Canadian power only. As stands now, 1090 megawatts of hydro only is to flow through this line and HQ retains right of generation for the remaining 110 megawatts of the 1200 megawatt limit.

Because both this project and most of the Western Maine wind projects are contracted to Southern New England utility companies for their production whenever their production attains scheduling into the ISO-NE bid stack, this hydro generation will compete with wind. head to head. My money is on the reliable generation.
The ISO-NE interconnection queue is full of proposed wind developments who have learned that clustering all their developments into one substantial megawatt transmission line is preferable to going at it, one project at a time.
Conceding to the NECEC now can avoid later wind development because the NECEC maximizes generation output out of Maine with transmission limitations used up and Maine people are not going to be kind about another transmission to accommodate future wind projects which will cost twice or more than the NECEC.
Comment by richard mcdonald on May 6, 2018 at 10:32am

Dan, I believe CMP will work to accomplish both lines and provide pathways for new wind and solar and HQ. They have been selling the lie since their public meeting in Bingham that a DC would prohibit wind/solar development -- all to garner local support for DC line. They cannot be trusted. 

Comment by Dan McKay on May 6, 2018 at 10:22am

If you want wind projects peppering our Western Mountain vistas, then vote this hydro project down. Seems like only yesterday we condoned legislation to allow 100 megawatt hydro to qualify as a Maine renewable to help defeat wind. 

Avangrid would be just as happy to build a AC transmission line to accommodate 1200 megawatts of wind power through Maine.
Chose your foes carefully. Unintended consequences abound within the energy issues challenging us.  
Comment by richard mcdonald on May 6, 2018 at 9:38am

Blatant shilling for their wind and solar cohorts. It won't matter if this line is DC or AC, new wind and solar projects will eventually materialize and CMP will be directly involved despite their current statements (lies). The fight goes on.  

Comment by Dan McKay on May 6, 2018 at 7:34am

As a man of numbers, as opposed to political rhetoric, once said...........the EUT Committee doesn't know a kilowatt from a kilobyte. 

This is a sad commentary that reveals the stark difference from pure science and political science. 
Re-election of members of the state's current legislators is no longer an option.
Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on May 5, 2018 at 7:14pm

They are all trying to get their piece of the Plantation. Piping Energy from Canada to Mass through Maine, with a claim that this increases Maine Grid Reliability without even an electron to service Maine is kind of stretching the facts. Just enough to keep Maine Residents and Businesses in the funding requirement.

Yes this is intended to open more of Maine to Wind, and Yes this is also intended to assist in establishing an East West Corridor across Maine in the Future. Electrical energy at first, then other forms, including an Interstate Grade Highway for at least a Rolling Oil Pipeline, then other commodities to and from the Chicago and Midwest. 

If one looks at the recent LUPC proposed Adjacency plan for zoning of the UT's it is closing in.

Due to statute changes that the EWC coalition succeeded in amending, the highway portion requires that the Maine DOT find a need for Maine Citizens. However by expanding various zoning areas to allow for a larger commercial and residential populace, they are attempting to create the demand for a highway into Maine's remote areas. 


Comment by Eskutassis on May 5, 2018 at 9:29am

On the surface this seems to be a radical shift in our Maine Legislature, but if you look a little closer, they are just clearing the decks for more wind turbines and solar panels in MAINE with the commensurate number of transmission lines it will take to connect them all up, ALL of which will be paid by us, the Maine taxpayer and CMP/Emera ratepayer.

Comment by Long Islander on May 5, 2018 at 9:26am

Hydro transmission - Berry wants less impact.

Wind & wind transmission - Berry wants more impact.

Comment by Penny Gray on May 5, 2018 at 9:21am

What a bunch of hypocrites.

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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