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Thread: N.E. Clean Power Connect in Maine - Should we care ?

  1. #136
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    Its interesting to see how the PR morphed over the weeks. As issues come up Hydro Quebec has created new ads trying to counter them.

    Its been a default Anti CMP referendum for quite awhile.

    Of late, the No side hired a "grandma" that barely mentions the actual corridor and somehow tries to link the project with heating costs. There is a tenuous link to heating as one of the few benefits to Mainers is future financing of some air source heat pumps. The amount of money spent so far on advertising far exceeds the amount the project was going to subsidize.

    There are quite a few ads linking the opposition to "out of state oil and gas" and implying its referendum against oil and gas. The yes side is heavily funded by companies that own two fairly efficient natural gas plants in Maine , plus the nuclear power station in Seabrook NH and the mostly backup 800 MW oil fired power plant at Cousins Island in Yarmouth. They are not oil and gas firms as such but use oil and gas to generate power. Cousins Island will still be needed for peaking supply and backup for the indefinite future. The gas plants will have a tougher time of it. Seabrook is carbon neutral (per current standards) so its not impacted.

    Retroactivity by the legislature is also an issue that is hyped up to get conservative voters to vote no. CMP recently reportedly targeted conservatives with mailers linking a yes vote to new anti gun laws.

    There has been a deliberate blending of environmental benefits to Maine versus "New England" by the No side. The power on the corridor is strictly for Mass, it does not change. Since HQ will not certify that the power will come from strictly hydroelectric sources, its questionable about the overall impact to global warming as HQ has a problematical gas fired power plant in Three Rivers Quebec that they have been having to pay not to run that could just as well be dispatched to displace existing hydro power used in Quebec that is sent down the corridor.

    Not many name brand headliners for either side, the yes groups tend to identify their supporters while the no ads have mix of unnamed individuals, some firms that are directly benefiting from the construction and a clothing manufacturer whose connection to the project is unknown.

    The vote yes groups have pretty well stuck to the impact the environment but on occasion counter the PR by the against group.

    The latest polls look like its going against the corridor https://bangordailynews.com/2021/10/...estion-1-vote/ . No doubt the lawsuits will continue. The big downside to CMP is if they fight it, it makes them look like bully and in the background is an attempt for the state to create a public power company to take over power generation in the state.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 10-30-2021 at 11:33 AM.

  2. #137
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    Looks like the Maine voters voted for a second time to stop the corridor project in western Maine by a big margin (currently 59% against the powerline 39% for) . Considering it was an off season election (no president, senators or reps on the ballot) it meant that the people going to the polls tended to be more committed voters. Now the new legal maneuvering starts. Even in Lewiston Maine, a city that was going to get a big property tax boost, reportedly voted to shut down the project. (it will be interesting to see the numbers). CPC will argue that they already have sunk a lot of money into the construction of a large portion of the line while the anti CPC will argue that the construction that has already occurred was at risk as the Maine voters had given a clear indication that the project should not proceed during the first referendum. Both sides have deep enough pockets to keep the lawsuits funded.

    The governor of Mass had bet on the prior Northern Pass project and subsequently this CPC project (along with offshore wind) to meet an aggressive climate goal. Offshore wind is multiple years out currently while Hydro Quebec "clean branded power" should have been on line already. So does Mass stick with CPC to get them that "clean Canadian hydro power" or do they switch to the already permitted proposed Vermont transmission project on the bottom of Lake Champlain or another project that had been floated to add a second HVDC line next to the current line that runs roughly down the NH/VT state line? Both of those proposed projects were potentially less lucrative for Hydro Quebec and the sponsoring non regulated side of the public utilities. Had the more expensive permitted VT project replaced Northern Pass instead of the claimed less expensive CPC, it would be on line. So assuming the CPC project does not get an emergency stay to allow them to keep building the line, how long does Mass stay committed to CPC?

    Unlike the yet to be distributed large block of lands in Northern NH purchased by Eversource and the Forest Society in anticipation of the failed Northern Pass project, I am unsure if CPC had actually purchased the long strip of land versus buying just a right of way?. The 33 miles of right of way already cut in Maine will start growing back once the legal maneuvers are exhausted, but intensive industrial forestry will remain on either side of the strip. There were several proposed large wind projects in Western Maine along the border west of the Kibby Wind project (a very large one was proposed on and near the "six pack" of NE 100 highest) that were dependent on new transmission line though the same region so I expect they will remain unbuilt.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-03-2021 at 05:55 AM.

  3. #138
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    CMP is a universally hated utility throughout ME including my town, except for the local company that sells and installs whole house generators. They love CMP

    The real news from the election (at least in my town) concerns roosters...

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    It went down to defeat
    Last edited by maineguy; 11-03-2021 at 07:09 AM.

  4. #139
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    Is “rooster” code for our politicians at all levels of govt? Would have been a good law for that!

    Not surprised by the CMP defeat at all.

  5. #140
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    Is “rooster” code for our politicians at all levels of govt?
    No. I think that would be c&^ks...

  6. #141
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    It comes down to ROI, Hydro Quebec and partners were looking at Billions in long term revenue for at one time was a 100 million dollar investment in CPC. Despite using transmission corridors paid for by ratepayers for much of the project , the return to the state of Maine was far less, basically a rounding error when looking at a revenue stream in the Billions. It was also a referendum against CMP. They are spending a lot of money trying to put "lipstick on the pig", but CMP seems to have worn out its welcome since they sold out to Energy East 30 years ago. Prior to the sale CMP was a "widows and orphans stock" safe but boring long term low yield investment. The power plants including the hydros were quickly stripped and sold to FPL (now Next Era) after it was bought out by Energy East. Thus CMP went back to a boring publicly regulated revenue stream. No doubt if CPC gets built the current owner Avangrid will split off CPC completely from CMP and sell off the boring distribution business. A good indication of how much the project was smelly that the popular former Maine governor Baldacci who was on the Avangrid board of directors was suspiciously quiet.

  7. #142
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Maybe Mass will reconsider this one https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...sion-1.4504425. All underwater from New Brunswick to Mass. Similar to the Lake Champlain project, except much longer distance.
    Last edited by Mac; 11-03-2021 at 02:36 PM.

  8. #143
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Maybe Mass will get smart, and build a couple highly efficient low emission nat gas plants in Mass, instead of trying to hack electric lines through the northern New England forest so they can claim to be "green."

  9. #144
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    Or just go nuclear and get over the irrational fear.

  10. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Maybe Mass will get smart, and build a couple highly efficient low emission nat gas plants in Mass, instead of trying to hack electric lines through the northern New England forest so they can claim to be "green."
    Unfortunately the most efficient combined cycle natural gas plants are no longer carbon free enough to pass muster for reducing global warming. When they replace coal or fuel oil plants they are great carbon reduction option but to meet climate goals even the most efficient gas plants have to switch over to "green natural gas" or "green" hydrogen. Green natural gas is basically methane that is already escaping to the atmosphere which is collected and then combusted to CO2 doing useful work like generated power along the way. Methane has far more climate impact per pound than CO2. The big supplier of GNG is methane from landfills. Green Hydrogen is hydrogen produced from non fossil sources. The gas turbine industry is quickly developing the capability to burn 100% GNG but hydrogen burns hotter so NOx production is an issue.

    There are attempts to build and install new small nuclear power plants. They are based on "inherently safe" designs where the reaction will shut down if the support systems stop working. many are fueled once and then returned to the factory to be refueled. Wyoming is looking at repowering former coal plants with small nukes. The Russians are actively building and selling nuclear power plants on a barge and the Chinese are building next generation large nuclear reactors based on US designs plus developing R&D originally developed by the US and then abandoned. The Indians are also still working on thorium based reactors. Its likely that the "third world" will embrace nuclear for baseload power long before the US jumps on the bandwagon. IMO, until the US gets seriously of deploying offshore wind with storage that new nuclear in the eastern US is not needed. There really is no finance agency that will go near nuclear in the US given the recent project failures.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-03-2021 at 04:29 PM.

  11. #146
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    A good indication of how much the project was smelly that the popular former Maine governor Baldacci who was on the Avangrid board of directors was suspiciously quiet.
    As far as I can tell, he is still on the board of directors. It's amazing what a 6 figure salary for attending meetings plus stock options can do to your vocal chords.

  12. #147
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    Let's try and keep this thread open by following these guidelines:

    Post factual data and/or links to the source (remembering not to post more than a teaser paragraph of content you do not own)
    If that data pertains to the preservation or destruction of the backcountry, so much the better
    Refrain from arbitrary political jabs

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  13. #148
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    Interesting graphic on how every town in Maine voted https://bangordailynews.com/2021/11/...or-referendum/ I wish it was larger but its pretty good indication that there was not much support for the project statewide. The support in Aroostock county and eastern Maine was intersting as those areas are served by Emera a different utility with no stake in CPC (note they are not held with much more regard than CMP). Both areas tend to vote very conservative and were targeted with advertising trying to establish a tenuous link between a yes vote (to shut down the project) and repealing gun rights laws.

    As expected CPC is continuing construction and "is confident that the vote was illegal and unconstitutional" has filed a lawsuit to invalidate the results and the other side has sued to immediate stop construction.

  14. #149
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    Construction halted (it had been ongoing after the referendum loss). It also happens to be winter conditions. My guess is CPC will be adding up the costs spent to date and expect that they will be requesting reimbursement.

  15. #150
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    Responsive to the OP … I neither care nor don’t care.

    Laid eyes on the Kibby Mountain wind project for the first time last weekend. Based on the hyperbole, I was expecting to be following wind mills from trailhead to summit as if they were cairns. Instead, I saw exactly one during the hike itself … and that was at the trailhead. Plenty of others were visible from paved Route 27 but you’re pretty much in the front-country at that point.

    No harm. No foul.

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