November 08, 2019
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A midcoast town could rescind its support for CMP’s proposed transmission project

Fred Bever | Maine Public
Fred Bever | Maine Public
Woolwich residents asked selectmen on Monday to reconsider the town's support for Central Maine Power's proposed 145-mile transmission project to bring hydro power from Canada to Massachusetts. A decision is expected by Sept. 6.

The town of Woolwich was an early supporter of Central Maine Power’s proposed 145-mile transmission line, but that could change next month.

The Times Record reports that residents asked selectmen at a Monday night meeting to reconsider the town’s earlier support for the project.

“I was a reluctant supporter in 2017 and I’ve come to oppose it as we’ve learned more about it,” Selectwoman Allison Hepler said at the meeting. “We wrote the letter based on the little information we had at the time, but I’m ready to revisit it.”

Woolwich’s selectmen wrote a letter in support of the project in 2017, and Central Maine Power needs a letter of support from each town through which the transmission line passes, The Times Record reports.

[Ads spent on the CMP corridor topped $1.8 million. The source of much of that money is a secret.]

The $1 billion transmission project, known as the New England Clean Energy Connect, would bring Canadian hydro power to customers in Massachusetts. That project includes 53 new miles of corridor and upgrades to existing power lines running through western Maine, where opposition among residents is strong.

If Woolwich follows through with withdrawing its support at a Sept. 6 meeting, that would make it the eighth town to do so, the newspaper reports. In March, the town of Wilton in Franklin County rescinded its earlier support for the transmission project.

Nearly a dozen towns have outright opposed the project, The Times Record reports. On Tuesday night, Livermore Falls residents voted to oppose the project and direct selectmen to send a letter of opposition to Central Maine Power, New England Clean Energy Connect, the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission. Other towns opposing the project include Farmington, Jackman and Jay.

 



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