The panel approved the $ 1 billion project of Central Maine Power, but further approvals will be crucial for the job.
The New England Clean Energy Connect of CMP would allow 1,200 megawatts of hydropower that is Canadian to hit consumers in Massachusetts to meet with the green energy objectives of this state. Commissioners concluded that there are benefits for Maine including lower rates carbon contamination and improved energy efficiency in incentives.
Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy said the economic and environmental benefits are required at a region trying to balance the need.
But a staff lawyer for the Natural Resources Council of Maine called the decision”deeply flawed” and detained regulators of siding with”Central Maine Power’s corporate interests over the highest interests of the state of Maine and ratepayers of Maine.”
“This decision dramatically overstates the benefits while radically undervaluing the negative effects into this state of Maine,” Sue Ely explained.
Critics say it would ruin the unspoiled wilderness of Maine without guarantees of advantages though Massachusetts is funding the project. They also say it might snuff out energy projects that are green that are homegrown, like wind and solar electricity.
A lot of the job calls for expanding existing corridors, however a brand new swath will be cut through 53 miles (85 km ) of wilderness in western Maine.
Further approvals are necessary. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission and other authorities all must approve some Part of the CMP project. The Department of Environmental Protection will make the final choice on the website permit and compliance of CMP bureau spokesman David Madore stated.
Maine Public Advocate Barry Hobbins and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills both supported the project after CMP sweetened the deal with a bundle of benefits for Maine.
The utility’s $258 million in incentives could provide $140 million for price relief for retail customers, $50 million for energy customers that are low-income, $15 million to market $15 million for charging stations and cars and heat pump purchases.
Supporters say the project could offer electricity for a thousand homes and drive electricity prices down . An independent adviser, London Economics International LLC, reasoned carbon dioxide emissions would be lowered from 3.6 million metric tons per year.
A subsidiary of CMP, which is an element of Connecticut-based Avangrid, would be created to oversee building of the line to ensure Maine ratepayers are protected from costs.
The utility hopes to receive all regulatory approvals by the end of year and also for construction to begin next year, said vice president for business growth , Thorn Dickinson.