Those of us involved in the wind battle before CMP got to build its "CMP Upgrade" or Maine Power Reliability Project (MPRP) will recall that during the "sale" of this project to Mainers, the media hammered away about the project being needed for reliability -- primarily needed because of "aging lines" and population growth (despite population forecasts of next to nothing for both Maine and New England). What the Maine ratepayer almost never heard from the watchdog turned wind developer lapdog Maine media was that this $1.5 billion project was a ratepayer funded gift to the wind industry, essentially buying this already over subsidized poster child of crony capitalism a free shipping system for its electrons. While Mainers struggled, the Wall Street crowd and often foreign companies picked their ratepayer/tax payer pockets with the help of the media and the Maine PUC, the latter run at the time by Baldacci PUC chief Kurt Adams, who ended up taking First Wind stock options while still at the Maine PUC right before joining First Wind as their director of transmission.
“So pardon me if I and many others here aren’t taking your current statements at face value because fool me once,” said Hinchman. “If this project is actually able to solve that constraint and they’re able to move the wind out of Maine into load centers south of us, and you profit from that, do you think CMP owes New England ratepayers any sort of savings from the $1.6 billion we spent on the MPRP that we didn’t achieve on the two primary reasons for building it?”
Burns bristled at Hinchman’s description of the company’s aims, replying, “So MPRP was never sold as fixing constraints. The MPRP was reliability of the system. And where most of the wind is, is not where the load is. The wind is where there is no load. You don’t spend a lot of money on your system and charge all the ratepayers to get to that wind.”