CMP parent Avangrid is locked in a bitter dispute with rival NextEra over the upgrading of equipment at the Seabrook nuclear station, without which the 145-mile corridor can’t connect to the New England grid.
By Colin Woodard Staff Writer
A heated dispute between Central Maine Power’s parent company and rival energy giant NextEra is threatening to delay the completion of CMP’s controversial 145-mile transmission corridor.
CMP’s parent – Avangrid, which is itself the subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola – has been locked in a bitter disagreement with Florida-based NextEra Energy, which it accuses of intentionally obstructing the transmission project by failing to perform a necessary safety upgrade of a piece of equipment at the nuclear power plant in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Until NextEra upgrades this circuit breaker in Seabrook, CMP can’t connect its $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect line and the 1,200 megawatts of Quebec hydropower it would carry to New England’s primary electricity grid.
“NextEra’s actions and inactions reflect NextEra’s intentional efforts to interfere with the interconnection of the NECEC Project,” Avangrid said in a complaint filed with federal authorities Oct. 13, in which it says continued delays might jeopardize the project’s May 31, 2023, go-live date.
“NextEra has taken every opportunity, both in the open and behind the scenes, to oppose, delay and derail the NECEC Project, all to benefit its existing fossil and nuclear generation located in Maine and New Hampshire and its renewable projects in Maine,” the filing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission states. “In doing so, NextEra is purposely trying to thwart the goals of Maine and Massachusetts to obtain more renewable power, which will have a negative impact to the climate and to the people of the region.”
NextEra, which owns the 822-megawatt W.F. Wyman oil-fired power station on Cousin’s Island in Yarmouth, has dismissed Avangrid’s complaints as a baseless effort to “cast aspersions and false allegations against Seabrook and its affiliates in an effort to color the outcome of the contractual dispute.”
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