Maine Senate approves bill for Aroostook County transmission line

Maine Public | By Kevin Miller
Published June 9, 2023 at 6:44 AM EDT

A proposed transmission line connecting Aroostook County to the New England power grid has passed another hurdle at the State House.

The Maine Senate voted 24-9 on Thursday to give preliminary approval to a bill authorizing construction of a 1,200-megawatt transmission line. The $2 billion project would carry electricity from a massive wind farm proposed for commercial timberlands near Oakfield. Maine ratepayers are expected to pick up about $1 billion of the cost, although supporters say the glut of low-cost wind energy will ultimately lower electricity rates.

Those supporters include Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash, who says his home county has been waiting for decades for a cost-effective way to feed renewable energy into the New England grid.

"This just makes good sense: if it's less money than ratepayers are paying, the people in Maine are going to be providing this energy, the people in Maine are going to be building these facilities and the transmission line, having that opportunity, bringing people to Maine and bringing people to Aroostook County," he says.

But several senators opposed the bill because they developers have yet to disclose the precise route of the transmission line or the rate that would be paid for the wind power.

The bill faces additional votes in the House and Senate. And both the northern Maine transmission line and the so-called King Pine wind farm project require additional regulatory approvals.

Here is the bill:




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Comment by James M. Talcott on June 14, 2023 at 12:13pm

Can you see what happens when Democrats are given fullpower in a state?  Next stop, covered with asphalt then bankruptcy! Don't worry Mainers, it's all for your own good! signed the "State Senate!"

Comment by Robert Powers on June 13, 2023 at 10:32am

Fact-This will clear the way for many hundreds of larger wind turbines and many thousands of acres of solar panels.  Few acres of potatoes and other traditional Maine crops.   There are farmers who plan on living on the annual fees from both.   Easy money for them!

Comment by Penny Gray on June 13, 2023 at 10:15am

All who vote for this "glut of wind power that will lower electricity rates" may very well go down in history as the fools who bankrupted Maine and destroyed its quality of place.

Comment by Willem Post on June 10, 2023 at 9:01pm

The subsidy grifters and grafters of wind and solar and their aiders and abettors will be laughing all the way to the bank for decades.

All they have to do is keep the climate scare mongering monkey alive to enrich themselves while screwing all others

Comment by Dan McKay on June 10, 2023 at 5:43pm

Potential sale of Irving Oil could have costly effects on Maine

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the natural gas and oil industry supports over 37,000 jobs in Maine, contributing over $4 billion to the state's economy.

Contributing $ 4 billion, Not costing $2 billion

Comment by Willem Post on June 10, 2023 at 5:39pm

This is a $2 billion gift to the Owners of future wind systems to connect to the Aroostook line and then to the New England grid.

All that is in addition of the 50% of subsidies to Owner’s cost of their wind systems.

These Owners would have to sell their electricity to utilities at 15 to 20c/ kWh, if they did not get any financial subsidies.

However, with subsidies, they can sell at 8 to 10 c/kWh.

That is the way wind is MADE TO LOOK COMPETITIVE with combined-cycle, gas-turbine plants, so-called CCGTs

Comment by Dan McKay on June 10, 2023 at 5:28pm

If the welfare of Aroostook County is reliant on all Maine ratepayers to the tune of two billion dollars, it is time to give Senator Jackson the boot out of office and the county.

It is hard to believe the good citizens of Aroostook County haven't the self-determination to forego this beggar's project.


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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