Maine will win when New England Clean Energy Connect comes online
The CMP project is a well-designed and cost-effective path to New England's clean-energy future.
Maine has a longstanding and deserved reputation for both industrial innovation and for natural beauty. We have long been known for integrity, creative minds and hard work, high-quality goods, great customer service and outstanding natural resource management. Today, we are on the threshold of yet another, exceptional contribution to Maine’s and the region’s well-being. It is known as Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect, a well-designed and cost-effective path to New England’s clean-energy future.
Over the course of some years, CMP has assembled a strategic transmission corridor from the Canadian border down to Lewiston, the major energy hub for our state and our gateway to the New England electric grid. CMP’s proposed corridor would be a resource from which all of Maine may benefit, as it provides a steady supply of clean, reliable hydropower from Quebec to all New England. This power will displace older and soon-to-retire fossil fuel generation, making the air cleaner for everyone and helping to stabilize our energy prices.
●●Maine has valuable energy resources to contribute to a cleaner energy future, including the New England Clean Energy Connect proposal to link the vast hydro resources of nearby Canada with the New England energy market. Maine, Massachusetts, and all of New England will win when New England Clean Energy Connect comes online and delivers needed, clean energy to our region.
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Everyone that has an interest should write a letter requesting Public Hearings at every stage. None may be viewed as interveners or have a voice heard during the hearings but will have the power to ensure that there will be a public hearing (vs) being conducted in total secrecy.
DEP has called for public hearings on the NECEC project. LUPC has as well. Both entities are awaiting word from MA on renewable bids before moving forward or not with hearings. NRCM. Conservation Law Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Club and Moosehead Region Futures petitioned DEP for hearings.
AUGUSTA, Maine, October 19, 2017 - Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID INC. (NYSE:AGR), a diversified energy and utility company, reports continued progress on the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) as it advances toward state and federal approvals. In September, the company completed filings for all state and federal permits. Last week, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) accepted CMP's application for several state environmental permits as complete, starting a 185-day timetable for review unless extended by agreement. The Maine Public Utilities Commission also recently issued a formal Notice of Proceeding in response to CMP's petition for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. By statute, the Commission must make its determination within nine months unless extended in accordance with Commission rules.
Not the case with the NECEC line.
The transmission line doesn't pay for it's self unless it's connected to WIND TURBINES!
CMP is struggling to grow its profits in a declining power market - current utility regulations have them hemmed in. They failed in their effort to overturn deregulation which would have allowed them to be a production and transmission company giving them entry into the lucrative wind/solar business. So next up,the NECEC line - their newest financial lifeline. That's why we see this full court press from various shills promoting this project. CMP/Avangrid management has their backs to the wall here. They know their financial future is bleak and will do whatever it takes to avoid the harsh realities of owning a company (CMP) with no growth. They made a fortune on the $1.3B upgrade, now they need this project to get to keep the party going.
There's no compelling reason for Maine to bail them out - the renewable story is total hogwash. Weyerhaeuser and other landowners in Somerset County will reap big rewards from land leases and prime recreational/tourism areas will be sacrificed. Maine will get nothing in return. Anderson and Barringer are selling this story on the eve of the MA bid decision. The op-ed was not for us - it was done to paint a rosy picture of support for the decision makers in MA. Let's hope/pray they weren't impressed.
New England Clean Energy Connect
Let's try to dissect this, even though the only access to what it comprises is a heavily redacted proposal on the Massachusetts Clean Energy website.
1. It involves transmission only within Maine's borders. All generation resources are from Canada.
2.The entire length of the transmission from the Canadian border to Lewiston Maine substation is High Voltage Direct Current. Very expensive to connect resources within it's route.
3. It involves a guaranteed 24/7/365 consistent power output that for 99% of the time would exceed Maine's electrical needs.
4. It could cause curtailment of existing wind power within
Maine by transmission constraints and locational market pricing based on line losses and congestion.
5..It could create a pathway from Canada into Maine for a natural gas pipeline. Maine has several gas-fired plants restricted in use by pipeline constraints thanks to Mass.
6. This is an opportunity to sidestep the hydro limit built into the Maine RPS and " flood Maine with Hydro " to the chagrin of many wind enablers.
7. Involves a long term contract that is tied to greenhouse gas reduction laws in Mass. as opposed to inclusion requirements of qualified renewables.
8. Even if not selected by MCE, it remains a viable option for Maine to stabilize electricity costs and make decisions on heat pump technology more cost effective. Could even enable a path out of the regional market now dominated by the wishes of much larger market participants, Mass. & Conn.
9. Having said all that, I still have concerns with Avangrid owned CMP and unseen intentions they may have, but, nevertheless, the boldest and best wind-slayers are always alert to every move to add useless and ugly wind projects to the Maine landscape.
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