By Fred Bever, Maine Public • November 1, 2018 7:37 pm
Some supporters of Central Maine Power’s billion dollar transmission project are looking to Canada’s Hydro-Quebec to shore up prospects for a key permit in Maine. They want the Canadian utility to contribute cash to benefit Maine electricity consumers. Governor Paul LePage’s administration may be pushing Hydro-Quebec on the point, although details of the effort are murky.
The 145-mile, high-voltage transmission line would bring electricity produced by Canada’s vast dam systems through western Maine to serve Massachusetts customers. The project needs several permits from Maine regulators, including a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
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If Mass wants to have this transmission line run through Maine, how can they refuse to allow new NATURAL GAS PIPELINES to come through their state delivering natural gas to Maine?
As Willem Post recently noted:
Importing LNG into New England, as advocated by renewable energy (RE) proponents, would be extremely unwise. Natural Gas (NG) from Pennsylvania (via pipeline) is preferred over LNG, because it:
- Requires much less source energy than LNG
- Emits much less CO2 than LNG per cubic foot, on a source energy basis
- Is domestic. Its use would not adversely affect the US trade balance
- Has 1/3 the cost of Russian/Middle East LNG, which are undesirable /unsafe suppliers
- Requires much less capital cost to have more NG than having more LNG
- NE already has the highest electric rates in the US.
- Importing expensive LNG to generate NE electricity would worsen that condition and be a headwind against NE economic growth for decades.
Foreign nations want to move the US towards high-cost energy to make the US relatively less competitive. They want to move the US towards:
1) High-cost offshore wind (they have the most expertise in that sector and would get most of the projects)
2) High-cost solar (China has 50% of the world PV panel market)
3) Importing LNG (mainly from Russia and the Middle East). They likely would make contributions to RE entities that advocate more LNG imports.