Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: The recent “sweetener” from Hydro-Quebec is like a teaspoon of castor oil for Mainers

Like castor oil, the recent “sweetener” from Hydro-Quebec in support of the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project will only result in nausea. The settlement between Hydro-Quebec and Governor Mills will still be nothing more than crumbs thrown to CMP customers on the way to supplying hydro power to three Massachusetts utilities for $10 billion in profit for Hydro-Quebec and at least $1.5 billion in profit for CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola.

Let’s examine the “sweetener.” Hydro-Quebec has agreed to accelerate $140,000,000 million in energy savings for CMP customers. The original incentive deal included $140,000,000 in energy savings over 40 years. That deal would have reduced monthly electric bills for CMP customers by only 35 cents. Assuming that acceleration means 20 years, the result would be monthly electric bill savings for CMP customers of only 68 cents.

Hydro-Quebec will also accelerate the funding of electric car charging stations and high-efficiency heat pumps. Who really benefits? CMP will be able to sell more electricity. But this proposal does not offer any direct benefit to electricity customers in Maine, as Tesla and Efficiency Maine already fund these efforts.

The third component of the “sweetener” commits Hydro-Quebec to the delivery of hydro power in excess of their contract with Massachusetts utilities in order to provide discounted hydro power to 70,000 residential customers and/or 10,000 business customers in Maine. This would represent less than 10% of CMP customers. An analysis by the Natural Resources Council of Maine shows this would reduce monthly electric bills for customers in Maine by only 12 cents a month.

There must be a greater corporate strategy to explain why Hydro-Quebec is willing to spend mega millions to promote the NECEC project. One of its investment principles is to double revenue by 2030. Hydro-Quebec must sell hydro power in the lucrative U.S. energy market. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection Order limited the NECEC transmission line corridor in Segment 1 to a width no greater than 54 feet. That would leave a transmission line corridor width of approximately 250 feet for further development. Through “side-by-side” collaboration with CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola, the remaining 250 feet of width could be developed for additional hydro power transmission lines. CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola would benefit by selling right-of-way access to their transmission line corridor for Hydro-Quebec, and Hydro-Quebec would benefit by selling more hydro power in New England.

John R. Nicholas
Winthrop

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

29 Responses »

  1. Can all those that oppose this project please shut off power to your homes and businesses. That should forego the need for this project. Then the rest of us that live in the 21st Century and the real world can continue on with ours lives without needing listen to your blathering's. No power equates to no PC, Tablet, Phone or Laptop … silence is golden …

    Maine is part of NEPOOL, that means shared responsibility for generating and transmitting said power. Maine will benefit from this project in the long run. Maybe not in the form of a huge check in everyone's bank account, which seems to be the motive behind those that oppose. "What's in it for me" mentality. As populations increase, power needs will continue to increase.

    What's truly needed is for everyone to be more conservative in their consumption of power, but as adults, we know that's not gonna happen. Just look at the controversy of wearing masks during a pandemic …. lol

    To answer M.L. Kings question, "Can't we all just get along?" the short answer is "Nope!"

  2. This project was proposed by New Englanders seeking an alternative to petroleum. Those who attack the companies brought in to provide that alternative of not providing more economic incentive, weren't moved by the improved air quality and reduced CO2 emissions it will provide either. In other words, they aren't truly interested in incentive but in defeating this project one way or another.

    As I said before, we are here discussing a plan to bring hydroelectric energy to New England from Hydro Quebec because effort after effort to generate power from local resources have been defeated by campaigns like the one that opposes this project. These efforts include a project which was harness the tidal forces of the Bay of Fundy, that would have provided enough energy for Maine to become a net exporter of power, and an offshore wind project that would have allowed Massachusetts to become self sufficient.

    Every time an effort is made to utilize our resources to generate power
    an opposition effort is funded by those foreign petroleum interests which stand to lose profit. This support arrives in the form of dark money, propping up opposition efforts that are more concerned with defeating the project than they are with discussing it honestly. Through hyperbole and misleading statements they convince the electorate to turn against these projects, ultimately leaving the petroleum interests behind that dark money to continue raking in their profits to the detriment of our health and that of our environment.

    In this case the opposition effort also received support from those looking to distract voters from election concerns that threaten politicians like Susan Collins who might face more resistance if voters were not distracted by this issue. This is why you'll find Democrats split on the issue statewide while Republicans are united against it. It was a smart political move, as it redirected a great deal of the energy Democrats ended the last election cycle with.

  3. This project was proposed by New Englanders seeking an alternative to petroleum. Those who attack the companies brought in to provide that alternative of not providing more economic incentive weren't moved by the improved air quality and reduced CO2 emissions it will provide and aren't going to be moved by any other incentive because they really don't want this project to succeed. In other words, they aren't truly interested in incentive but in defeating this project with whatever argument works.

    As I said before, we are here discussing a plan to bring hydroelectric energy to New England from Hydro Quebec because decades of efforts to build facilities capable of producing the power we consume with local resources have been defeated by campaigns like the one working to defeat this one. These efforts include a project which was to harness the tidal forces of the Bay of Fundy, that would have provided enough energy for Maine to become a net exporter of power, and an offshore wind project that would have allowed Massachusetts to become self sufficient.

    Every time an effort is made to utilize our resources to generate power
    an opposition effort is funded by those foreign petroleum interests which stand to lose profit. This support arrives in the form of dark money, propping up opposition efforts that are more concerned with defeating the project than they are with discussing it honestly. Through hyperbole and misleading statements they convince the electorate to turn against these projects, ultimately leaving the petroleum interests behind that dark money to continue raking in their profits to the detriment of our health and that of our environment.

    In this case the opposition effort also received support from those looking to distract voters from election concerns that threaten politicians like Susan Collins who might face more resistance if voters were not distracted by this issue. This is why you'll find Democrats split on the issue statewide while Republicans are united against it. It was a smart political move, as it redirected a great deal of the energy Democrats ended the last election cycle with.

  4. Jay, this was an RFP from HQ.

  5. Jay I like how you blamed everything on Republicans and some Democrats. Now swap the parties and you will see what has been happening for the last four years with RuSsiA and ImpEacHmEnt 😝 Now we have BLM protests and rioting looting and yes even the China flu (which has a survival rate of 99%) so we better stay home for another 15 days (120+ days of quarantine so far) and don’t go to vote mail it in and God forbid we send kids to get an education that we are still obligated to pay for even if they are getting remedial lessons at home ( no new material). Former President Bush (jr) signed that bill “no child left behind” so that means unless EVERY student has the same opportunity from k-12 no new material can be taught. This district as well as others do not have the ability to do this and it was shown that this spring that some students that did have access didn’t bother do any work or very little.
    Lets get back to politics though. We now have tv ads that are blatant lies from Gideon and I’m sure some of Collins ads wouldn’t pass the smell test although they smell better than Gideons. We have a guy running for office of President that can’t even read a teleprompter correctly and his party is drooling over him because they get offended by the way our current POTUS talks. This same guy has gotten a pass on a quid pro quo that we have video proof of him saying. He has gotten zero ridicule from #metoo after several rape allegations yet people are worried about the current President making a remark about grabbing genitalia of a woman while he was being illegally recorded.
    May e folks need to actually “woke” up like they claim too be and see that noone in government gives two 💩 about us except the guy that has been pissing the establishment off for the past four years. I have days that I wonder if he does but he shows enough most of the time.
    If anyone thinks this corridor is a distraction from an election issue you are probably right everything on tv, radio and fakebook are a distraction from the real world and life in general. Now get outside take a deep breath and look to the sky exhale now look forward and enjoy the day.

  6. Awwwww, quite amazed at your letter. Pretty much a non-science guy (or gal) I see. And what does your political rant have to do with the NECEC? BOTH political sides lie most of the time. You seem to be giving our traitor-in-chief a free pass. Lucky guy, since he has been violating the constitution since day 1. I believe that you are confused. To be an American means to uphold the US Constitution, NOT blindly support a particular party or individual. And, as for school - sure just let betsy devos run the show and believe everything she says, speaking of total morons. But, I digress.

    Jay - things are ready and permitted in VT - go with it.

  7. The argument recently presented on radio that if we didn't vote for the corridor, it would give a great opportunity for more wind mills to move into Maine and we all know they are short lived and do great damage to our beautiful mountains and landscapes. And it would take years and years and many millions of $$$ to remove them after their short lifespan.
    Well! Lookee here! See who has a finger in two pies! I was nearly convinced to vote for the corridor until I read this. https://www.avangrid.com/wps/portal/avangrid/aboutus also Daddy to CMP!
    https://www.avangrid.com/wps/portal/avangrid/aboutus/companyprofile

  8. Ozerki if you had descent reading comprehension which isn’t big in schools or on the bulldog you would have understood I simply spun what Jay had said but I digress. You do you cupcake.
    Is Trump perfect not in the least but he is better than a candidate with obvious mental health issues. Vote for who you want I will vote for the bad orange man !! Trump 2020

  9. Jay,
    I collected signatures since this negatively impacts me. The only thing dark was the coffee. As far as Dems or Repubs, there were many of both. It was actually really nice to see both, along with young and old, wealthy and poor all side by side if you will, come together against this proposed project which is bad for Maine. It was also interesting to see the multitude of reasons people oppose. There were many. And many were very legitimate concerns that have zero to do with fossil fuel companies. Although dark money, the Augusta kind, was a great concern for many. Also you are correct that we are currently part of ISO NE. More and more this is viewed as not good for Maine.

  10. Mainah, How does this negatively impact you? I see all these signs in peoples yard even over here in Winslow. Again, how does it impact anyone? What does impact you is the constant increase in the need for more power. The increase in air pollution and green house gases, But every stinking time someone comes up with someone thing to help curb pollution, there's all these whining voices about how bad its going to be. It started getting bad a long time ago. Can you imagine what someone from even 100 years ago could pop in and see what the earth has become? Stop being naysayers and start being a voice for real change. Until someone develops a power source that we can cheaply generate our own power, we have to live with transmission and distribution lines. And guess what else what have to live with? Power plants, whether coal, gas, wind, solar or dams, we have to live with those choices until some again either develops something new or we all decide to flip our lights switches off. Get over yourselves already ...

  11. NIMVS,
    Property value. I know Mainahs aren't paying a dime for this line. This is false. Hundreds if not thousands of property owners along this 145 mile line will pay dearly. Please read up on HQ's contract with MA. They can supply the power by any means they choose. If they oversell the hydro power they have then they will burn fossil fuels to generate the power. They are trying to sell to all comers in the northeast. They will exceed their hydro capacity. Thus the wording of their contracts. Yes HQ says they have so much capacity they are spilling with out generating. Please Google, HQ asks consumers to curtail usage. Yes this was during a cold spell. But if they cannot even provide for their region with hydro power alone, how can you expect they will not just burn fossil fuels. In the end, let MA replace their older generators with new natural gas plants, burn the fossil fuels in their own region, and eliminate the need for thousand mile transmission lines. Again please check the contract wording and Google curtailment.

  12. Not in my view shed,

    How does the NECEC impact anyone? Well for starters, we don’t want it in our view shed. And that’s just one reasons. I could go on, but l’m busy.....
    By the way, have you hiked that view shed?

  13. Not in my view shed,

    How does the NECEC impact anyone? Well for starters, we don’t want it in our view shed. And that’s just one reason. I could go on, but l’m busy.....
    By the way, have you hiked that view shed?

  14. Jay,

    So the No to the Corridor folks are funded by dark money huh? Those foreign petroleum guys....
    Have you looked at CMP’s PAC? Hydro-Québec, AVANGRID, Iberdrola and CMP.
    Can you honestly tell me that those corporate entities haven’t destroyed any of the world’s environment to make their money?
    I’ll wait for your reply.

  15. View shed not everyone is complaining about the source of the power, some of us are asking a few questions that should be answered. Like why not just upgrade existing lines ? Or why not go through Vermont where it is already permitted? Lastly why is this being zig zagged through mountains is there wind towers in the future ? I asked Lynn from HQ and she didn’t want to answer any questions just like HQ wouldn’t answer any under oath yet still spew lies to us telling us how to live and vote in Maine. Perhaps some other people should get over their selves and answer some questions honestly!!!!

  16. Not In My View Shed.
    Ok, let's move into something that works ,
    NUCLEAR POWER.
    Maine Yankee has such a nice ring to it!!

    If you don't like Nukes you really should just "get over that"!!
    It makes a whole lot more sense than these dumbass "Contraption Farms" going up all over the place...
    Short-lived WhirlyGigs and SunCatchers soon to be Rusty Relics Left Behind for Your View Shed.
    Duh!!

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  17. Terry, Yes, I have and to flip the question back on you. Have any of you viewed this area from say "Google Earth"? its not pristine virgin forest people like people like to pass on to be. Its a working forest there are
    hundreds of miles of logging roads! Of course your busy Terry, go back to eating your popcorn on the couch.

    Did any of you know that a clear cut is actually good for the wildlife at least initially? Deer particularly like clear cuts for the new growth they promulgate. even a temporary clearing of an area for … wait for it … Wind Mill! is actually good for the wildlife! Most of the work area for those windmills grows back! Gasp, say it isn't so!

    Even in the commercial featuring the guy opposing the project because of his business which featured guiding snow mobiles up there, as they panned this majestic natural beauty, you could see clear cuts in the back ground. I'm sure those eco friendly snow mobiles had no impact on the environment … Wait how did they travel through the woods? OHHH on paths cleared threw those same woods ...

    Mainah, does this affect your property values where you actually live? There are hundreds or thousands of people living next to an existing transmission line, what would there property values be without those said transmission lines. You know, the ones supporting the industry currently in place creating jobs and such? Probably supplying their homes as well .. Well, we got ours, no one else can move in or build or exist here! Also, it doesn't zig zag through the woods willy nilly. It follows the terrain and connects to existing transmission lines coming out of the power generating dam in Moscow …

    Did you guys know that CMP tried to get a 26 mile connection up with Maine Public Utility up in the county but was shot down several years ago? Nah, that's old news.

    Did anyone you acknowledge the fact that we are all hungry for power but don't want to acknowledge the fact you may be part of the problem and not the solution? Do you have any solutions to offer? I didn't think so.

    Aww. CMP did spend around 5 Billion dollars just a few short years ago upgrading the transmission line but upgraded lines do not equate with more power, just ability to transmit more power and to increase the life span of those 50+ year old transmission lines.

  18. Viewshed,
    You have been sold on the belief that the need for this power is Maine's issue. It is not. It is MA's issue. And I agree with your sentiment, what have they done to curtail usage? Great question. We should understand this fully before anything moves forward.

    In case you didn't take the time to review here is the link to HQ asking their customer to curtail usage.

    https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/hydro-quebec-asks-clients-to-cool-demand-for-electricity-during-cold-snap

    Again, During a cold snap. But it begs the question of whether they can supply Quebec, MA, NY, ME, CT, RI all on hydro. Their contracts allow them to provide the power by any means they choose. Based on this it would appear HQ doesn't believe they can provide the power to all via hydro. So let MA burn the fossil fuels in MA. = No line needed.

    And yes, I am FULLY aware of the lines CMP wants to run in other areas of the state. MCPC, MREI and others. Their plans in the end are not good for Maine. The generators on the other end just need power purchase agreement then we will be having the same discussions about them as we are NECEC. Google 83D bids and click on each of the bidders for MA renewable energy bid 83D. You may be surprised to see how many projects are in Maine. If I recall @ 14. Take the time. It is very educational and will then help you understand why CMP has multiple other lines planned. Again, just need a power purchase agreement from MA or another state.

    You are also incorrect on windmills tied to their 300 foot wide corridor and why it is routed through the mountains. Otherwise they would not have purchased a wider corridor than the 150 feet needed for NECEC. And they wouldn't have maps showing the easements for wind on Misery Ridge with each and every windmill location depicted. And if not designed to tie to windmills they could have taken a significantly easier route from Coburn Gore to Bingham along the existing line from Kibby and Stetson wind farms. Use Google Earth. You can see it.

    Believe none of what you are told and half of what you see. Do your homework.

  19. View shed I’m talking about HQ’s existing lines to Mass not any of CMP’s lines in this state. They have at least three that go there now and they want a new one. Second why not go through Vermont? That question has been asked since the beginning of this whole conversation yet no one wants to answer as to why.

  20. NMVS

    " It follows the terrain and connects to existing transmission lines coming out of the power generating dam in Moscow …"

    I don't think you can connect a DC line to a AC transmission line coming out of the generation plant ???

    I thought that separate poles and lines where going in to Lewiston where they will have a substation to convert the DC to AC.??

    Can you tell me more????

  21. Not in my View Shed,

    Yes, l’ve seen the Google Earth version. Tell me something, how many acres of trees to your roads do you think are in that area?

    I’m sitting on the couch eating popcorn? Anybody that knows me knows what a ridiculous statement that it.
    Nope, no couch sitting for me. I’m too busy hiking those mountains and logging roads in segment one. You know, the 53 miles that CMP wants to carve up. I’m doing that so l can prove that “working forest” isn’t the “wasteland” CMP and their PAC want people to believe.

    See you at the polls in November.

  22. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!! lol.

    From Montreal Gazette article that Mainah referenced,,
    "Hydro-Québec notes that the electricity produced by its network usually covers the needs of Quebecers, but the spike in demand during cold snaps requires that it purchase power from neighbouring power grids.

    The good news is that as of 9 a.m. Thursday, only 1,000 of the Hydro-Québec’s 4.3 million customers were suffering from power failures, most of them in the Gaspé and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine."
    End.

    WHY ARE WE EMBROILED IN THIS MASS CANADA MESS??
    OH YES,, SPANISH CMP, THAT'S WHY.

    NOVEMBER STARTS WITH "NO" !!!
    NO, NO NO IN "NO"VEMBER..

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  23. Mainah, of course I don't expect you to believe anything I have said. I have more than done my homework but like many in this world today, if the facts don't fit your point of view, they must be false! I worked in the energy sector before retiring. I have plenty of experience in butting heads with those that what everything for themselves but not wanting to help their neighbors. From actual neighbors to corporations. I've got mine mentality, now go away.

    Yes, this power fills the need of those in Mass, your fellow Americans. But you must be still holding on to that grudge from 1812 along with the rest of the Mainah's … lol .That's all part of being a regional power pool. When Maine needed to upgrade the transmission lines a few years back, you paid for that? I'll wait while you go find some online document that supports your "feelings" but not real world facts.

    Power put onto a transmission line doesn't skip past you, you take what your home or business needs and the remainder moves along. If enough generation is put on the line then there's enough to move down to huh hum, those people from away that shall not be mentioned …

    Do you think Maine is not going to need more power in the future?

  24. Awww. there are people in other parts of the country such as Vermont that want all the technology and the goodies that come with it but will fight tooth and nail so Their View Shed is not disturb, just like here in Maine

  25. " You know, the 53 miles that CMP wants to carve up. I’m doing that so l can prove that “working forest” isn’t the “wasteland” CMP and their PAC want people to believe." Lol, are you the writer for that commercial comparing this Transmission line to the New Jersey turnpike, just a tad over the top. But one then just about guaranteed to get the ire of a Mainah, is referring something to Mass or any other undesirable locale. There is no comparison to a turnpike and a transmission line. Just as there is no comparison to thousands or logging roads to the transmission line.

    For someone that claims to be out in the woods, you are clearly not. I've not only hiked but hunted and worked in those woods in Western Maine. But I'm at the point in this discussion, you are again one of those that are so closed minded that you cant even see the forest for a tree syndrome.

    Have a nice day!

  26. Not my view shed...
    Seeing you're someone that really does his research and knows what he's talking about and I who usually just relies on my memory which at my age might be dicey. I believe the person that made the statement "can't we all just get along" was Rodney King, not M.L. King. Just mentioning that for a researcher like you😎

  27. Just wondering, I believe you are correct. I thought of that after posting and just thought, 1) it wouldn't be noticed! and 2) it was the words of the quote that were the most significant. Agreement on even the little of subjects seem to be very difficult these days. I may come across contrary in nature but what I dislike is those that base their views not so much on facts but feelings. We all have feelings but they shouldn't guide us in making important decisions. As I say from time to time, don't let the facts get in your way!

    We must be of the same category age wise, mine is getting fleeting as well! But thanks for pointing that out.

  28. View shed you obviously don’t know as much as you claim to know. The people of Vermont don’t need to worry about their view shed because the line is permitted to be buried like these type of lines should be. The only reasons they aren’t using Vermont is 1. Maine is a “cheaper” line so the profit more and 2. They can eventually flatten more mountain tops for more wind turbines. Maybe you and HB should get together and open your minds unless HB just started using a new name. You two sound like two peas in the same brain.

  29. Awww, since when did I state I knew anything? Lol

    Going under ground sounds like a wonderful idea … until reality hits you up side the head. First, it's much more expensive to install under ground. Secondly when there are faults (breaks in the line) which do occur in underground services as well as above ground, it's much more expensive and time consuming to repair underground. Above ground issues are easy to find as you can literally see the wires on the ground and make repairs. Underground issues you need fault finding equipment, people to run that equipment and then a sub contractor to dig up area you think fault is in, find break and make repair. While storms to tend to reek havoc on above ground services, Transmission lines are not as susceptible to storm damage due to the wider paths they try to keep clear for them. Before the Mainah's and Terry's jump all over that, the under brush does fill in the area providing lots of feed for wildlife.

    It would be nice to have all power lines under ground, transmission and distribution. But reality is, it would be way more expensive to install and very expensive to maintain.

Categories

Archives