The battle over a power line in Maine features a television advertisement depicting felled pine trees in the wooded US state paired with noir images of a corporate tower in modern Bilbao, near the Guggenheim art museum. A voiceover declares: “A good deal for Spain, and a bad deal for Maine.”
“They chose a very xenophobic message that I find incredibly troubling,” said Thorn Dickinson, chief executive of the Avangrid company building the Maine project.
President Joe Biden has called for accelerating transmission projects in his executive order on climate in the first week of his administration. Since then, a coalition of 45 energy and environmental groups has pressed the need for a federal tax credit for high-voltage transmission. New power lines would send green energy to distant markets, greatest wind resource area, greatest solar resource area, existing electric transmission lines (345 kV or more)
Rich Glick, the new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, wants his agency to reassess policy to trigger more transmission investment. “We have to substantially build out the grid more than we’ve been doing,” he said. A bigger grid would allow wider deployment of solar and wind power, filling gaps when the sun shines or wind blows in one place but not another. It would also support rising demand from electric vehicles and building heaters.
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