Franklin Countys First News

Informational meeting on New England Clean Energy Connect project is Monday night

The proposed transmission line.

FARMINGTON - An informational meeting on the New England Clean Energy Connect project that proposes to link the New England energy grid with hydroelectric power in Quebec will be held Monday, July 16 at the Mt. Blue High School.

The NECEC project, one of 46 proposals submitted in request by Massachusetts to bring up to 9.45 terawatts of clean energy power into the state, was selected by that state earlier this year. Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., has proposed running a direct current transmission line through western Maine to connect the Quebec electric grid with a substation in Lewiston. The project is designed to bring 1,200 megawatts of power from a Canadian hydroelectric company, Hydro-Québec, to the New England grid.

In Franklin County, the project would create 12 miles of new corridor on the Canadian border, running through the northern townships of Beattie, Lowelltown and Skinner. It would then go into Somerset County, reentering Franklin County in Industry. The project would impact 20.6 miles of existing transmission corridor in the towns of Industry, New Sharon, Farmington, Wilton, Chesterville and Jay, before traveling south into Livermore Falls.

CMP officials say that the project will create 1,700 positions, mostly over the course of the construction project, will result in $18 million in tax revenue increases for Maine communities and will lower energy costs by roughly $40 to $45 million as compared to the cost of the regional supply without the project. Those that have expressed either concern or outright opposition with the plan have taken issue with the project's potential environmental and visual impacts and whether it provides sufficient benefit to Mainers.

Monday evening, Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish and State Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Wilton) will be hosting an informational meeting on NECEC at the Mt. Blue High School Forum. Officials will attend to provide information on the project and how it will affect Franklin County residents, as well as detailed information on the entire project.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m., CMP officials will be available at the entrance to the Mt. Blue Forum with informational displays. At 6:30 p.m., Saviello will begin the formal program with welcoming remarks and going over the meeting's ground rules. He will then turn the meeting over to moderator Ronald Aseltine.

From 6:30 to 7 p.m., CMP will present the plans for the transmission line. Town officials from Jay, Wilton, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, Chesterville and the Franklin County Commissioners will ask questions of CMP officials between 7 to 7:30 p.m. From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., citizens from Franklin County will be allowed to ask questions. Those from outside Franklin County will be allowed to ask questions if time permits.

The program will end at 8:30 p.m.

For further information, contact Tom Saviello at 240-5496 or Rhonda Irish at 645-4691.

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18 Responses »

  1. Unless the negative effects to aboriginal and non-aboriginal people and the environmental damage at the source of the power is considered, the true cost of this power is hidden. Please see and, and facebook site for Labrador Land Protectors, to understand that our rights, our traditional food source, and even our lives if a catastrophic dam failure occurs, are discounted by Hydro Quebec and Nalcor Energy.

    The point is that at any given moment, power coming from Hydro Quebec generation may be coming from our Labradort river, the Grand (a.k.a. Churchill) River, as Hydro Quebec has absolute control of that generating project (Churchill Falls) 5400 MW until the year 2041.

    This power is anything but clean, anything but green. These negative effects are cumulative and MUST be considered when considering a transmission line to deliver the power to the Northeastern States.

  2. By association, I already smell a rat! Maine doesn't need this! Why did Vermont refuse it?

  3. A lot of questions need to be answered, and will there be truth in the answers?

  4. Robert, how would a dam break in Quebec be catastrophic when we are not near it?

  5. Just build it. The only question I have is when are Maine customers going to be able to access some of the lower priced hydro power to lower our overall electric costs?

  6. Those saying build, I'm gonna go out on a limb as say you dont spend much time outdoors! Thanks for supporting an issue that will majorly effect all of us who do.

  7. Don't forget the impact to the Alantic Salmon in the Sandy River, and the Blue Herons out to Clearwater.

  8. sorry CMP, but hiring local contractors along the route isn't exactly "job creation".

  9. Are any of you at all concerned about the damaging effect of all those powerful Electromagnetic Frequencies , microwave towers, and radio frequencies to mitochondria
    ......damaging your brain? Damaging your health.
    This is not progress folks.....once again,penny wise and pound foolish.

  10. Do they pay any local property taxes to the towns that they pass through?

  11. yes, Glen. However, that $18M they keep throwing around is the estimated total new local taxes. but its spread across all "host" towns they pass through. each tower has a value attached to it much like your house. bear in mind the $18M is spread across all towns from where the project enters Maine in Northern Franklin, all the way to Lewiston. there are at least 22 "hosts" in Franklin and Somerset counties alone. do the math. Lewiston will also get a good chuck of this since that is where they are building the new substation. and we all know when the dust settles they will cry for revaluations, abatements, etc...and likely get them.

  12. Nothing good in this proposal for Maine folks except a few dollars in property tax.

  13. The towns of Farmington and Jay are to receive about $450,000 annually in new property taxes. That seems pretty significant to me.

  14. Townie. Where do you think CMP will get that $18 million for their tax bill??? I'll tell you, from all their captive
    Rate payers. They will raise their deliver rate by a few pennies and get every dollar from us. I don't trust them.
    And i don't trust their "smart meters". I think they control them and add a few kilowatt hours here and there.
    Who would ever know?? Look at the mess with their billing system this winter. Still no answers on that. I say
    NO to this new power line until they fix that mess. And if we let them put the darn thing in, we should all get
    Significant rate reductions. Our electric rates are too high!!!

  15. 450k could disappear into thin air applied to our school district budget, or a couple new sidewalks... poof, gone.

  16. Where does the number $450,000 come from ?

  17. Greedy Corporate Giants and you tax and spenders, forget about money for a moment. Your brain is your most important asset in the 21st century. The radio frequencies , electromagnetic fields, and microwave towers are damaging your mitochondria 24/7.
    They know the results of these powerful energies on all living creatures. Where is the outrage?

  18. We need these electrons. Hydro and nuclear along with renewaes and storage all give us the energy require with no CO2 production
    What's not to like....stay cool and keep planet co is well.....its a win win for us and planet.