CMP transmission line clears major regulatory hurdle

The state's Land Use Planning Commission voted Wednesday to certify the 145-mile electric corridor proposed by Central Maine Power.

Maine’s rural land use regulators have approved a controversial transmission corridor proposed by Central Maine Power that would cut through more than 50 miles of wild North Woods.

The state Land Use Planning Commission voted 5-2 Wednesday to certify CMP’s $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect as an accepted use in the areas it would be built. The commissioners focused on protected recreation areas around the Kennebec Gorge and Appalachian Trail, and CMP’s proposals to buffer the impact of its power line on them.

The power line still awaits a decision from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other regional and federal approvals. Maine environmental regulators are reviewing CMP’s permit application and expect to submit a draft decision within the next month, a spokesman said.

Opponents who have battled the project for more than two years said they were disappointed by the commission’s vote but hope the upcoming environmental review will expose what they believe are the plan’s flaws.................CMP agreed to drill under the Kennebec River to avoid running power lines over the scenic gorge popular with whitewater rafters. The power line near the Appalachian Trail would be built within an expansion of the existing corridor, but the company would buffer it with brush at least 10 feet tall.

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Comment by Frank Haggerty on January 9, 2020 at 8:51am

This is being done so the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center can meet its renewable energy goals after they destroyed twenty-one towns in Massachusetts with commercial wind turbines.

The land-based wind turbine projects in Massachusetts was 2000 megawatts by the year 2020 they only have around 130 megawatts -They need to use rural Maine woodland to achieve their goal. 

The CMP proposal was not Massachusetts’ first choice.

In August 2016, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker required the state’s electric utilities to request bids for projects that would bring large amounts of clean energy to the state, which currently relies on natural gas for nearly 70 percent of its electricity.

In January 2018, Massachusetts selected the New Hampshire Northern Pass Project, proposed by Eversource, to deliver energy from project partner Hydro-Quebec. The line would have run 192 miles across much of the state. A 60-mile portion of the line would have been buried to protect areas like the White Mountain National Forest.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled against the White Mountain Route 

Northern Pass and CMP’s transmission line are similar projects. However, there are some key differences. One is cost: Northern Pass was expected to cost $600 million more than CMP’s line. 

Another difference is that Northern Pass project sponsor Eversource offered New Hampshire $220 million to help tourism, economic development, and habitat restoration projects. In Maine, CMP has offered less than 22 million to fund similar initiatives. It has, however, offered to pay $50 million to help low-income ratepayers in Massachusetts. 

So why not a similar package to help low-income ratepayers in Maine? 

They think you people are hayseeds. CMP’s offer to Maine is much lower than the package offered to New Hampshire because the Maine project is cheaper and requires less wildlife disruption

After the project was rejected by regulators, Massachusetts chose CMP’s line as its replacement. 

Comment by Jim Wiegand on January 8, 2020 at 9:13pm

correction............"CMP transmission line easily clears majorly corrupt regulatory hurdle'


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

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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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"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."

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