NRCM Statement: CMP’s “New England Clean Energy Connect” Transmission Line Proposal

Statement:

NRCM

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) does not currently support this project because of significant concerns about the environmental impact of both the line itself and of the sources of power the line may serve. Some of our concerns stem from the fact that Central Maine Power (CMP) has not disclosed the sources of power the transmission line would serve, raising questions about whether or not the proposal would reduce greenhouse gas emissions as claimed.

Background

In March 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and Massachusetts utilities issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for long-term contracts for clean energy generation from hydropower and/or wind or solar energy projects. A total of 46 different proposals were submitted for wind, solar, and hydropower projects. There were also bids for lengthy transmission lines from Quebec through Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire as well as some for buried transmission cables from Searsport, Maine; New Brunswick, Canada; and under Lake Champlain.

Two proposals came from Central Maine Power, including the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line, a 145-mile, high-voltage, direct current (DC) line from the Quebec-Maine border to an interconnection with the existing New England grid in Lewiston. CMP has heavily promoted the NECEC, claiming that it “provides maximum environmental and energy benefits at less cost than any competing proposal.” The company has told the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that all of the costs would be borne by Massachusetts ratepayers.

In January 2018, Massachusetts announced it had selected the Northern Pass transmission line, which would carry power from Hydro-Québec through New Hampshire. (NRCM does not have a position on the Northern Pass project; however, a wide range of environmental organizations in New Hampshire oppose it.) Given the decision by Massachusetts to select Northern Pass, it is not clear who would pay for CMP’s NECEC project if it goes forward.

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Comment by Steve Thurston on February 3, 2018 at 12:33pm

Perhaps NECEC simply has not offered NRCM enough "mitigation" $$$ to gain its support.  

Comment by richard mcdonald on February 3, 2018 at 12:25pm

I agree with Dan McKay's take on the statement by NRCM. The CMP bid is very specific, but NRCM fails to site it in their statement - they're being dishonest. They are 100% behind the wind developers who will be left out of the MA RFP pot of gold if CPM is selected. There's no hope for the Northern Pass - NH gave MA the middle finger - we're not going to destroy our state to solve your problem. NRCM will appear to take the high ground and be the purists on CO2 while maneuvering behind the scenes for their wind buddies. The big question - how DEP and LUPC play this out? Public hearings have been called for both projects. Also, the NECEC line follows the same path as the MCPC line - NECEC is DC (hydro and converted wind) the MCPC line is all AC (wind and solar) connecting NextEra (Moose and Alder Stream) and NRG (Somerset) wind and NextEra solar (Moscow) to the grid. And how will MA respond to the loss of Northern Pass. How long will they allow Northern Pass's appeal process to proceed - Supreme Court? The MA AG is weighing in on the bidding process as well - she's a lawsuit a minute and a screaming progressive - she'll have a say in this for sure. A real mess.   

Comment by Dan McKay on February 2, 2018 at 9:47am

It wouldn't be surprising if the NRCM is being told by wind developers with existing Maine projects and eyeing additional projects to fight against this proposal because it could very well displace existing Maine wind power supply. See ISO-NE charts showing congestion problems in Maine.
NRCM may be in the pockets of State Wind Developers.

Comment by Dan McKay on February 2, 2018 at 9:37am

"Maine and New England need to increase the use of renewable power to further reduce fossil-fuel burning and meet our critically important greenhouse gas reduction goals. However, there are many ways to achieve that objective. First and foremost, we should look to new renewable energy sources like wind (on and offshore) and solar, which are less likely to cause large-scale environmental impacts than large hydroelectric dams."

The hydro resources proposed are existing hydro resources, the wind resources are, as far as I know, just like the wind resources in Maine. Obviously, the NRCM can't get the Canadians to loosen their purse strings to feed their sorry, misguided agenda.

Comment by Dan McKay on February 2, 2018 at 9:22am

First off, NRCM states "Central Maine Power (CMP) has not disclosed the sources of power the transmission line would serve, raising questions about whether or not the proposal would reduce greenhouse gas emissions as claimed."

The Hydro-Quebec proposal expressly states 790 MW hydro, 300 MW wind.
They seem to argue over the amount of GHG reduction. It probably reduces GHG more than an oil plant does.

"Furthermore, CMP has also failed to demonstrate that its proposed contract with Hydro-Quebec would not displace existing power supply in Canada"

Hydro displacing hydro ? The thing is, Hydro-Quebec generating capacity exceeds load requirements. It's excess energy.

NRCM, again disposes the truth, to gain public attention.

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."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

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

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(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 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From 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?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From 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.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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