Franklin Countys First News

Maine Public Utilities Commission holding witness hearings on NECEC on Friday

A map of the proposed route of the

FARMINGTON - The Maine Public Utilities Commission will be holding public witness hearings in Farmington and The Forks to hear from members of the public on Central Maine Power Company's Petition for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the New England Clean Energy Connect Project.

The $950 million project consists of 189 total miles of corridor, with 73 percent of the project making use of existing lines. A total of 145 miles of the project would link a substation in Lewiston to the Canadian border through a Direct Current transmission line. Roughly three-quarters of that would follow preexisting transmission lines. The remaining 44 miles of line would impact AC infrastructure south of Lewiston and from Winslow down to Wiscasset, to accommodate the increased load. The project would be paid for by Massachusetts ratepayers and Hydro-Québec.

The project would enter Franklin County in the north in Beattie Township, passing through Lowelltown and Skinner Township before entering Somerset County to the east. This section would be roughly 12 miles of new corridor, with that corridor maintained at 150 feet in width around the line after construction.

The NECEC reenters Franklin County in Industry at the Starks town line, traveling for 20.6 miles through six municipalities: Industry, New Sharon, Farmington, Wilton, Chesterville and Jay. An additional 75 feet would be cleared to make room for the DC transmission line, usually running parallel with the existing AC line. Steel monopoles averaging roughly 95 feet in height would support the 230 kilovolt DC line. In total, 176 poles are currently planned to be sited in Franklin County, including the northern section.

Two public witness hearings will be held simultaneously Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. One of those two hearings will be held on the University of Maine at Farmington in Lincoln Auditorium inside the Roberts Learning Center, located at 270 Main Street in Farmington. The second hearing will be held at The Forks Town Hall, located at 2612 US Route 201.

A Commissioner from the Public Utilities Commission will attend at each location, as will Commission staff and a transcriptionist. This public hearing will give the Commission an opportunity to hear the views of members of the public as it considers Central Maine Power Company's CPCN for the NECEC.

In a public witness hearing, any member of the public may participate by providing sworn testimony or they may present argument without being sworn; however, only sworn testimony becomes evidence in the case. The public witness hearing transcript will be publicly available in the case file (Docket No. 2017-00232) which may be accessed via the Commission's Case Management System.

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17 Responses »

  1. Farmington needs to take due diligence to make sure the amount of tax dollars this project will net is accurate. do not take CMP's word for it.

  2. CMP will be telling you what you want to hear. Don't believe them for a second the tax dollars will disappear and so will the jobs. Most of the workerswill most likely be coming from out of state because of experience with the job or UNION. Let Massachusetts and CMP figure out another way to get the power their and leave our state alone !!!!! I say we put it to a vote of towns affected by the lines.

  3. To me, it sounds like CMP reps won't be at this hearing--only the Public Utilities Commission people. I hope that is, in fact, the case. Here's what I want to know: is there a way to do this use only existing lines and poles? Ninety-five feet is quite high--how wide will these proposed new monopoles be at the base? The footprint of this whole corridor will be huge compared to what we use for our own state's needs. Maine can't be thought of as just a conduit for a larger state south of us. If we can't stop the project, we must lessen the impact to our state, and increase the benefit to Maine. In a sense we are paying for the line as well if it goes through--we should get more monetary compensation each year. This is what the Public Utilities Commissioners need to do for us--argue for the public's best interest and not only CMP's. Remember, CMP is no longer the hometown local company it used to be--it's owned by a large international corporation based in Spain--Avangrid.

  4. Thanks for keeping this in the news. FYI The PUC has added a third public hearing site in Hallowell. The date to be determined. Also width of the gouging of the earth will be 150' on one side. Total corridor will likely be 400'.
    Finally, why is CMP, a regulated monopoly, persuing a project that is for profit for the shareholders of its parent companies The project architects throw Maine a few crumbs In exchange for what? desecration of a pristine corner of Maine that draws wonderers and outdoorspersons and dreamers from all over the world. I commend all the Great people who,live and work along the corridor for exposing CMP's hypocrisy. Every claim they make needs to be closely examined. They have been bleeding "ratepayers" for nearly a year with hardly a nod. Who'd want to do business with this triad.

  5. As an abutter of the existing line does this mean that the 75 foot additional clearing will be taking my land by eminent domain? I Will be at the meeting Friday.

  6. I can only hope this will be stopped ,,, why would Maine want to support a Spanish owned company from making money send power to another state thru the some of the most beautiful country in the state? Aren't the windmills on every ridge enough,, or do we need to have Maine look like a substation for Massachusetts ,,, come on people ,,, penny-wise and pound-foolish is the phrase that comes to mind ,,,,

  7. Hydro-Quebec is projecting to connect Canada and Lewiston. The connection is a 145 mile network of HIGHER VOLTAGE, 100-1500 kilowatts, direct current transmission lines. Direct current transmission lines are cheaper to install, own and operate than alternating current.

    High voltage direct current creates an electromagnetic field, affecting behavior of all living organisms in the vicinity of the field. The field extends indefinitely through space.

    A Maine Public Utilities Commissioner and staff will "facilitate" the public's witness hearings. Hydro-agenda will Petition for a certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the New England Clean Energy Connect Project to benefit Massachusetts rate payers.

    Taxpaying residents of the Maine Public May "participate" by providing sworn testimony or may "present argument" without sworn testimony.

    There is no accurate or appropriate amount of tax revenue for Maine to sacrifice so much in exchange for this public convenience and Necessity of "clean energy" for Hydro-Quebec and the Massachusetts rate payers.

  8. Olde Crone, can you cite a peer reviewed study which shows an impact on living organisms caused by DC fields? Keep in mind that DC fields are also known as static fields, and these are naturally occurring as a result of earth's magnetic fields.

    All, we must demand that CMP turn over the schematics for the flux capacitor and then we can fix the clock tower in Farmington without the help of a Delorian and Marty McFly.

  9. Some good points here. I remember the day I learned that the trees cut and paper made in Maine mills was mostly being sold outside of Maine. If fact, a city does not have the ability to produce the power and resources it consumes so it's dependent on taking from rural areas like Maine. There can be a balance and it can work for both the consumer and the producer but it rarely does. This is a summery of the Maine economy and "open for business" sign the Governor put up at our entrance. We missed the boat on using our land and natural resources as a highly profiting tourism economy. We have beautiful areas, fish, hiking trails, River rafting and kayaking, ski mountains... more so than any other state in New England but instead of marketing and selling the Maine experience much like NH where you pay to walk in the woods and camp we sold it to big international companies for our natural resources and land exploitation. It works for some but it is not sustainable for long. I say it's time we stop giving it away for free and put more into making it the destination to visit and spend money not just visit and take with out leaving something. I know we have ecological tourism already but not on the scale that it could be. Every power line, windmill, consolidated neighborhood development marketed to out of state retirees in our rural area is just another step towards gentrification and the inevitable cleansing of locals. Maybe it;s the Maine mentality to push against locally controlled progress until we have so little that we are easily lured with a single serving of bacon. Maybe we need to stop electing people into politics who's only background is that they are a successful businessman. In a public setting with the responsibility of public interest they sell us all out for personal gains not public benefit. When have you ever said the best CEO of a bank should not be a banker or businessman but maybe it should be self proclaimed philanthropist? Good job Maine. Keep selling out to catchphrases.

  10. Just Say NO!
    It is disheartening to think the vast wilderness we have, the lakes, the natural beauty of our state is at risk of being destroyed for the benefit of the Massachusetts commonwealth. Our Property owners “who are seen to stand in the way” are at risk of being forced off of their family land by eminent domain and bribery, for what? The residents of Massachusetts and the profits of CMP and their affiliates; Our neighboring states saw the negative side of the plan to implement such measures to ensure Massachusetts has the clean energy they desire, and said NO! CMP has been unable or unwilling to provide information to the public that would suggest the NECEC would provide any sort of environmental benefits to our state, and surely non lasting, rather it is widely known that boreal reservoirs like hydro-Quebec can generate more climate change emissions than they’d like to admit. How’s that for cleaner air?

    Another serious subject to consider, is the job growth and economic advantages such a large undertaking would mean for our state, The NECEC is said to bring some 3,000 jobs with roughly 1,700 to western Maine, and averaging 3 -5 years to complete. Meaning this provide only TEMPORARY benefits for Maine, with Maine’s unemployment rate being at an all time low, we can assume those who accept the jobs will be skilled workers and likely brought in from out of state to fulfill the necessary roles, there is no guarantee that the people of Maine will benefit from these jobs at all.

    As we look at this issue from all sides, It should be noted that New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee unanimously defeated the proposal in their state under the marketing term “The Northern Pass” citing the potential negative impact of the project on local communities, businesses and the region’s tourism industry. Is this what we want for Maine? Maine needs to focus on the long term negative effects this project will bring to our state, we need to come together and realize there are far more important things our state needs for the growth of Maine on a sustainable basis, and not worry about delivering this energy to Massachusetts. Maine Should just say NO!!

  11. Let us stop pretending the flawed process of peer review is not a tilted lenses into the heart of industrial science.

  12. As long as we hold in doubt the scientific method, climate change deniers will run amok and say it is fake news. In regards to electrical fields and waves, there is no good evidence to support any claims of harm.
    I go back to the fact here that we have DC fields all around us all the time from the earth's naturally occurring magnetic field.

    On the transmission line, we are all missing a point here.
    The line will provide hydro power which means a reduced carbon foot print. The natural beauty of Maine is under attack from global warming fossil fuel consumption.
    Hydro power is not tied to the world oil markets and all the geopolitical problems that brings about.
    So far, I see good things.
    However, why is it for a neighboring state? Why can't we get cheap, renewable electricity in Maine instead of just being the poor cousin who lets the richer states get lower energy costs.

    If CMP wants this, then how about a massive rate cut for Maine and more renewable energy sources for Maine.

  13. Thank you Olde Crone for pointing out that there is no financial compensation high enough to pay for what Mainers stand to lose with this proposed CMP project . The devastation to the environment aesthetically, and the potential long term health consequences is too high a price to pay. Factor in the decline in property values with transmission lines in backyards that were not there before, and this proposal will not make the people of Maine prosperous, it will only make an already too powerful monopoly more powerful. Corporations and power companies already have too much money and power. CMP does not care about us, they only care about their bottom line.

  14. "Let's further destroy the ecology of Maine, and then say we decreased our carbon footprint - yay!"

    Yeah, umm, great science there. I could point out a bunch of junk science floating around today that people take as fact, but that would be too far off-topic.

    Seeing those nearly useless wind towers on top of blown-up mountaintops didn't teach us a thing, did it? Cuz it makes you FEEL good. And makes others rich while they virtue signal (thought the Left was against that sort of inside deal stuff?? Oh, unless they slap a 'green' label on it, I guess).

    I have to side with the Anti's on this (and the stupid toxic solar farm the city of Farmington wants), and I am a staunch conservative. We need to CONSERVE what we have, not cut it all down to serve out of state interests. POOR idea. Which means it'll probably be approved.

  15. Don't fall for CMP's bribes, eg. property taxes, jobs, "clean energy." The natural beauty of our state is the overwhelming issue. This energy is only clean when it trickles over the border. In fact it's dirty when you think of all the environmental damage done by damming up Canadian rivers, disrupting people's lives and destroying wildlife habitat. Hydro-Quebec is a money-making corporation that has produced more power than it needs-- enough to sell it to to other countries. Does it remind you of "tar sands?" Don't let this happen to us !

  16. I have no problem admitting that, yes I consider the LandScape " prescious. So beautiful.
    So you who makes fun of those of us who value such things can quit stop wasting good air making fun of us.
    We don't care that you,,,,, don't share our value system.

    I am not some tree hugger, not do I agree with those extremists.
    I am simply a person who appreciates the natural beauty of our mountains.
    Leave them alone.

  17. The PUC transcribed a high voltage direct NO from the public witness hearings on Friday. Politicians take notice.
    Tyrannies don't censor lies. Lies are easily refuted. Tyrannies censor the truth.
    Thieves and traitors to humanity cannot fool the Maine Public with green energy propaganda.
    These billionaire bullies have our land, resources and lives in the crosshairs of their horror, sacrificing the impoverished in exchange for a few poisonous crumbs.

    Stand and continue to fight this globalised curse.