By Lori Valigra, BDN Staff • February 10, 2020 6:00 am
Updated: February 10, 2020 7:27 am
Fossil fuel and nuclear generation companies could lose millions of dollars in revenue annually — or $1.8 billion over 15 years — if Central Maine Power Co.’s hydropower corridor is approved, according to a new study released Monday.
The $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect project, known as the NECEC, could lower wholesale energy prices paid to companies that generate electricity in New England and in turn lower prices for consumers, according to the report by Stepwise Data Research, an economic analysis firm in Yarmouth.
While some consumers might welcome that news, lower wholesale prices would pressure struggling energy producers in Maine and across New England, making it more difficult for them to stay in business, experts say.
The report for the first time estimates the dollar value of the project’s effect on existing energy-generation companies. The study was commissioned by Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs, a group of individuals, businesses and associations that support the CMP project.
“This study quantifies the economic impact on existing fossil fuel and nuclear generators,” said Benjamin Dudley, director of the group. He’s also a former legislator from Portland and a former chairman of the Maine Democratic Party.
He said the analysis answers a fundamental question about why Calpine Corp., a natural gas-fired generator in Westbrook, opposes the project.
“The answer: they and other fossil fuel generators across New England will lose a billion dollars in revenue once this clean hydroelectricity starts flowing into Maine,” he said.
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ISO-NE: The Rapid Transformation of New England’s Power System and Implications for Wholesale Electricity Markets (1/23/19)
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