“New England Clean Energy Connect” Will Hurt Maine’s Environment and Economy
Proposed Corridor Will Travel Through Pristine Maine Woods and Cost Maine Jobs
WESTBROOK - Stop the Corridor, a group of Mainers concerned about the massive impact that a proposed power project would have on our state, today announced its official formation and intention to oppose efforts to build the project.
The group, which is comprised of a broad number of organizations representing thousands of Mainers and billions of dollars of investment in our state, will work to highlight opposition to CMP/Avangrid’s “New England Clean Energy Connect” project. The project would carry hydro power from Canada directly through Maine to Massachusetts and would require a massive buildout of infrastructure in one of the most environmentally sensitive and iconic areas of Maine. The project was chosen by Massachusetts after a similar project was rejected by New Hampshire regulators because of its outsize environmental impact.
Maine’s state environmental and ratepayer protection agencies have also expressed concern about the project’s impact. Please see the attached document for more information about the project.
Coalition members expressed their strong opposition to the project:
Natural Resources Council of Maine: "NRCM is opposed to CMP’s proposed power line, which would cut across Maine’s western mountains, harming pristine forests, streams, wetlands, wildlife, and scenic beauty," said Dylan Voorhees, Climate & Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. "The line would provide big benefits to CMP shareholders and Hydro-Québec at Maine’s expense and do nothing to reduce climate change."
Maine Renewable Energy Association: “Maine-made clean energy is a key economic driver and provides vital jobs and tax revenue for its host communities and statewide,” said Jeremy Payne, Executive Director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association. “We are very concerned CMP’s Canadian electricity project will thwart new investment and opportunity for the state and struggle to see why this is a good deal for Maine. NECEC would also harm in-state generators by increasing congestion and worsen the challenge that already exists to get electricity into southern New England. We already face a fair amount of curtailment and we expect that curtailment to worsen.”
MREA member ReEnergy Biomass Operations added: “If this project moves forward as proposed, we anticipate that it will cause new constraints on CMP’s transmission system that would materially limit our ability to deliver power into the grid,” said Larry D. Richardson, chief executive officer of ReEnergy Biomass Operations. “This would lead to substantial revenue losses and thus compromise our ability to continue to operate.” Richardson said the anticipated grid congestion would particularly affect renewable technologies with material variable costs, such as biomass energy, because these projects are more vulnerable to curtailment or shutdown due to adverse market conditions or disruptions. ReEnergy owns and operates four biomass-to-energy facilities (in Ashland, Fort Fairfield, Livermore Falls and Stratton) generating 155 megawatts of electricity in Maine. “All of these facilities would be negatively impacted,” Richardson said.
“Say No To 145-mile CMP Transmission Line Through Maine,” a 3,700-plus member Facebook group: “It is important for us to unite with other like-minded individuals and organizations that recognize that there is no public need in Maine for NECEC,” said Sandi Howard, a raft guide and administrator of the Facebook group. “The permanent and massive destruction of this corridor will be irreversible. CMP has a history of overstating benefits to Mainers on previous projects and it’s clear here with NECEC that there is no money worth ruining Maine’s brand, needlessly jeopardizing tourism economy, renewable energy development, and our way of life.”
For more information, visit www.corridorno.com and check out Stop the Corridor on Facebook and Twitter. If you are interested in joining the coalition, please contact us.