Despite its opponents, CMP corridor project well underway

By Tux TurkelStaff Writer

Any effort to block Central Maine Power Co.’s planned $1 billion transmission line through western Maine at the ballot box in November may be a bit like trying to block a moving train.

Already, tens of millions of dollars have been invested in land purchases, design and engineering, contracts and materials. Eight months from now, that figure will be many times higher. And if two outstanding permits are issued this spring as anticipated, right-of-way clearing could be well underway before November in the 53-mile forested corridor that’s a focus of opposition to the project.

That momentum has been gathering amid an effort by opponents of the transmission corridor project to forestall it through political action..................

..................The referendum question is aimed at ordering the Maine Public Utilities Commission to reverse its finding that the project is in the best interests of the state. Legal experts said that action would be unprecedented and trigger a court fight.........................

............ it takes years of lead time to secure the land, do the engineering and design work, order the specialized equipment and line up the labor needed for a project of its scale............................


Dickinson was asked when workers would start clearing the right-of-way in the 53-mile section from the Quebec border to the Kennebec River. That’s a key stretch. It’s the only place where a new corridor has to be built, and it’s where project opponents are most upset about potential impacts to wetlands, wildlife, recreation and views.

Much of the working forest along that section was acquired by CMP in 2016 from two commercial timberland owners, E.J. Carrier and Weyerhaeuser Co.

Dickinson said work to clear the 150-foot-wide corridor could begin this summer, if permits are in hand.........................

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Comment by Dan McKay on March 8, 2020 at 2:17pm

Two-Way Trade in Green Electrons: Deep Decarbonization of the Northeastern U.S. and the Role of Canadian Hydropower

Emil Dimanchev, Joshua Hodge, and John Parsons

February 2020

Meeting climate policy targets in the U.S. Northeast will likely require the nearly complete decarbonization of electricity generation. To that end, consideration is being given to expanding imports of hydropower from neighboring Quebec, Canada. We use a capacity expansion and dispatch optimization model to analyze the role Canadian hydro might play, and the economic trade-offs involved. We find that, in a low-carbon future, it is optimal to shift the utilization of the existing hydro and transmission assets away from facilitating one-way export of electricity from Canada to the U.S. and toward a two-way trading of electricity to balance intermittent U.S. wind and solar generation. Doing so reduces power system cost by 5-6% depending on the level of decarbonization. In a cost-optimal low-carbon power system, transmission assets are used to flow power to Quebec in hours of excess wind and solar generation and to flow power to the U.S. in hours of scarcity. Therefore, the cost-optimal use of Canadian hydropower is as a complement, rather than a substitute, to deploying low-carbon technologies in the U.S. Expanding transmission capacity enables greater utilization of existing hydro reservoirs as a balancing resource, which facilitates a greater and more efficient use of wind and solar energy. New transmission also reduces the costs of deep decarbonization. Adding 4 GW of transmission between New England and Quebec is estimated to lower the costs of a zero-emission power system across New England and Quebec by 17-28%.

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on March 8, 2020 at 1:37pm

[My opinion based on my following]

Weyerhaeuser Co the last I knew was a company that managed land for the true owners. They mostly lease what they manage and have a very bad environmental history as being the worst in the world.

CMP was promoting the MCPC at the time they were ALLOWED to make their land acquisitions. They also obtained a path through Public Lands under the MCPC project proposal. A project that was to be for 100% western Maine mountain wind farm expansions. 

Now that this has changed to an International project with its 1st line being a  DC  line only as it is reported, remembering back the initial proposal was 3 such DC lines, 1 line for Canadian Wind Power, and eventually an additional line for western Maine mountain wind farms. 

This would explain the need for 600 feet wide along the existing ROW, but fall short on the new clearcutting extension. However, the word is now Corridor, not ROW. Energy Corridors are the easiest to expand or tweak to re-route and become the jurisdiction of FERC. Maine will lose all control over this patch of land bisecting the state. The additional 300 feet in width could be added at some future time, with most of the surveying and permitting requirements having been completed for Federal Authorization only.

The EPA, has twice recommended that this project be Undergrounded in NY and VT. Undergrounding is more expensive, so they have come to Maine to find a soft target. Maine wanting its wind power expanded (MCPC) and the Province of Quebec (Majority stockholder of HQ) wanting to sell its wind power and justify the continuance of building more Hydro dams in the north by selling its power.

Rumor has it that there are 13 projects for Wind Farm projects in western Maine waiting for the outcome of the NECEC approval. But then CMP could fall back and submit the MCPC project proposal if all else fails. Basically the same route when looking at the maps, though Lewiston is the target interconnection rather than Pittsfield.


Comment by Art Brigades on March 8, 2020 at 12:28pm

She calls tree cutting "destruction."  

She's probably never tried to walk in the forested Maine woods, which has a few trees, and which relentlessly finds a way to regenerate after a cut. Probably never saw a wind "farm" either.

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."


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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