Yesterday the Maine Land Use Planning Commission certified that CMP's NECEC transmission line project
"...complies with the relevant provisions of the Commission’s rule Chapter 10.."
subject to these conditions:
- CMP maintains a vegetative buffer at the Kennebec River visually screening all transmission line structures from the Recreation Protection Subdistrict
- CMP maintains vegetative plantings within the Recreation Protection Subdistrict surrounding the Appalachian Trail
- CMP complies with its published Vegetation Clearing and Vegetation Management Plans
- CMP obtains necessary approvals for transportation of materials from MDOT, Somerset County, Franklin County
- CMP submits written agreements with emergency service providers that ensure fire and emergency services are available at all times and locations during and following construction
Next regulatory hurdle is DEP review, expected to be completed in about a month, then Army Corps of Engineers review that could take several months.
Massachusetts electric utilities and their customers will be the primary beneficiaries of the finished project which will move Canadian hydropower through Maine from Beattie Township on the Quebec border 145 miles to an existing substation in Lewiston and from there onward to Massachusetts.
But the NECEC website also promises these benefits to Mainers:
- Lower future electricity costs
- Reduced CO2 emissions
- $573M added to GDP over 5 years
- 1600 jobs/year during construction
- $18M additional local tax revenues
In 2018, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee unanimously rejected a competing plan by MA utility Eversource to build a transmission line through NH
CMP's project looks unstoppable now. But stay tuned for updates.