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

  1. #16
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    Well looks like the new governor and a couple of key conservation groups (NRCM and CLF) have gotten behind the project so expect the project will get approval. Still some opposition but expect they will not be able to stop the steam roller. I expect the folks from Northern Pass are somewhat disappointed as if this project was stopped NP would be in bigger demand.

  2. #17
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    More MWs

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Well looks like the new governor and a couple of key conservation groups (NRCM and CLF) have gotten behind the project so expect the project will get approval. Still some opposition but expect they will not be able to stop the steam roller. I expect the folks from Northern Pass are somewhat disappointed as if this project was stopped NP would be in bigger demand.
    But wouldn't 2,000 MW or 3,000 MW of renewable energy be better than 1,000 MW? I hope all three of the projects proposed for NE get built. Iceland, Norway, and Costa Rica are the only countries that have achieved an almost 100% level of renewable energy, and all rely heavily on hydroelectric generation.

  3. #18
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    Probably best to debate that one elsewhere.

  4. #19
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    The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) gave thumbs up to the project. Unlike NH, there is no Site Evaluation Commitee (SEC) in Maine. The Maine LURP who is administrator of the Maine Public land (where the vast majority of the transmission runs through) has to issue a permit. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also has to issue an environmental permit. There are also a couple of federal permits that are expected to be approved. The new Maine governor came about in support of the project. She has replaced or will be replacing many of the department heads and expect that although there will be political theater for the environmental permitting, that the permits will get issued. The LURP is also not expected to be a major issue. A few of the key environmental groups have been bought off but there are few others groups and lots of individuals who oppose the project.

    This is a huge short term economic boost in that part of the state. There was a major east west transmission line project in the state (that make this project possible) a few years ago and I expect many of the firms and workers will be in line to support this project. Unlike the proposed Northern Pass which was planning to use out of state skilled workers from outside the region, the prior east west transmission line in Maine developed a lot of skilled workers in the state so more of the short term benefits will flow into Maine residents pockets.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 03-31-2019 at 05:20 AM.

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  6. #21
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    I take that report with a "grain of salt" given the graphic conveniently does not appear to show the existing two windfarms and associated power line right of way, RT 27 and RT 201 along with the extensive logging road networks in the region. This has frequently been a point of contention where outside the region groups imagine pristine wilderness where it doesn't exist and has not existed for about 150 years. Might be great for fundraising and selling the "wilderness" concept but can lead to confusion when somebody does something easy like zoom in over the area with google earth. Do the same thing up in Hydro Quebec hydroelectric system watershed and you will see far more virgin wilderness on a landscape level that is far more at risk than impacting industrial forestland in western maine. To give you an idea of scale, from upper reaches of the ponded watershed to the point where the LeGrande River goes into James Bay spans the same length as starting at the NY Mass border and ending at the Canadian Border in far eastern Maine.

    Given that there is permitted project in place with far lower impact sitting on the shelf in VT, I do not support this project as its basically a large foreign owned utility rolling the dice that they can build it cheaper on the backs of financially desperate states. Way too many parallels with NP although its obvious the SPNHF and their partners had a far better strategy going in on NP and that also seemed to keep a few environmental groups from selling out like they did in Maine.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-01-2019 at 09:32 AM.

  7. #22
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    Got this in my Northern Pass alerts:

    statewide-poll-shows-strong-opposition-cmp-corridor

    Rather surprised me to be honest, as most of my perceived opposition to NP was it running through some prime recreation country and built-up areas in the Great North Woods. Where the new corridor in Maine is going in does not strike me as nearly that level of recreation, nor is there much for development there (meaning, opposition due to NIMBY is really not a cause). My gut tells me it's a lot of "don't mar my state for Massachusetts' sake," and when I look at what appears to me to be only a few hydro and wind projects currently in place within Mass., I can understand that. I think this was also the foundation of some of the NP opposition, but there were plenty of others as well.

    Or maybe it's just Mainers really love their woods. Don't blame 'em for that, either.

  8. #23
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    Wow, I am also surprised. It was definitely a slow burn as when the project first was brought up, folks in southern maine could care less. The governor is in a tough position, she is from the area which is economically depressed and Maine's biggest contractor is banking on the work. She extracted extra scraps before she bought in.

    Mainers on occasion really piss off the establishment. If they hadnt, Sugarloaf would have had a even bigger ski area across the valley on Bigelow. Bigelow was a project that could not be stopped that was stopped by a citizens initiative. The big bucks and influence in Maine is in the three southern counties and usually they do not pay much attention to what is going on in the woods. If the right campaign gets them interested in the project that can swing the decision.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post
    Got this in my Northern Pass alerts:

    statewide-poll-shows-strong-opposition-cmp-corridor
    Do the poll results have anything to do with the date of the article?

  10. #25
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    I initially had the same suspicion but looking at the poll and its supporting documents its either a very deep elaborate hoax or far more likely a legit survey despite the unfortunate date they selected to release it. Click on the reference documents and they all seem legit as well as the questions. The polling firm is real and has presence in the state. Generally in hoax situation a legit third party would not be referenced.

    Some could argue that there is slight push aspect on the statement in section 3 as the section while opponents claim the project would damage Maine’s environment, harm renewable energy companies, and primarily benefit residents of Massachusetts. evokes some hot buttons to a typical Mainer that might agree to participate in the poll. Compared to Proponents claim the project would create jobs, benefit Maine communities, and help protect the environment IMO the proponents claims tend to be warm and fuzzy using "create" "benefit" and "help". The use of "damage", "harm" and particularly "primarily benefit residents of Massachusetts" have far more potential to evoke stronger opinions. Looking at the responses to the before question (3) and the after question (4) knocked a few fence sitters over to the opposition side.

    It would be interesting to see the results if the same survey was conducted in NH with "PSNH of New Hampshire DBA Eversource" was substituted for CMP. Currently I expect CMP has a far worse reputation from their billing "disaster" that occurred last year that just doesn't seem to die. CMPs media effort at responding to the issue was a disaster in and of itself, thus I expect the average Mainer assumes anything that CMP says is inherently tainted to the point where there are currently largely symbolic effort to pull their franchise rights and create a non profit state run power company (which would not end well).
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-02-2019 at 07:35 AM.

  11. #26
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerdee View Post
    But wouldn't 2,000 MW or 3,000 MW of renewable energy be better than 1,000 MW? I hope all three of the projects proposed for NE get built. Iceland, Norway, and Costa Rica are the only countries that have achieved an almost 100% level of renewable energy, and all rely heavily on hydroelectric generation.
    I agree with Hammerdee. We need to reduce energy consumption from carbon-based fuels now, and every way we can. Global warming is the issue facing the world at the moment, and while some members want to talk about the politics of it, and whether it's going to get through or not, this is a hiker's forum, and I see no reason why the politics of it can be discussed but the inconvenient truth of global warming cannot.

  12. #27
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    A new variation for getting HQ power down to Maine came up overnight. The concept is to use the existing Portland Montreal Pipeline (PPL) from Montreal to Portland Maine to install a buried HVDC line in its place. Note for disclosure purposes my driveway is on the Portland Pipeline right of way so I am quite familiar with it. The Portland Pipeline is actually three pipelines one of which is abandoned that was initially built in WW2 and expanded later to carry crude oil from Portland Maine to refineries in Montreal. With the shift in energy resources in Canada, the refineries it supplied in Montreal are closing down and last thing I knew it was underutilized or possibly out of service. The company that owns it is maintaining it as an asset and they at one point looked at converting it to natural gas and more recently studied what it would cost to convert it to pump tar sand oil from western Canada to the harbor in South Portland Maine. The natural gas play ended up that PPL allowed the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS) to share the right of way from Gorham NH to somewhere near the Portland area but that would not preclude adding a HVDC line in place of one or more of the oil pipelines. One of the tactics used to apply pressure to Canada to stop tar sand oil extraction is bottle up the avenues to exporting it and this option along with several pipeline attempts the west have been opposed. The city of South Portland has banned this use and there have been various court battles against its use for pumping shale oil from Canada.

    Therefore there is already a cut, maintained and permitted right of way in place that is economically stranded that in the opinion of a state legislature in Maine should be investigated prior to cutting a new swath through Northwestern Maine. Technically its could be a solution to getting some power down from HQ but the length of underground cable means higher costs and lower electrical throughput. Practically its cuts both Eversource in NH and CMP in Maine out of the loop and both parties were planning to make their profit as "landlord" for the power being transmitted over the lines. In this case my guess is a PMPL power line would be a merchant line where some other entity would be the landlord. This obviously would be opposed by the host utilities as its hundreds of millions of potentially non regulated profits out of their pocket. Note that PMPL is not the advocate for this project at this point, this is coming from left field by a state legislator in Maine. I expect some would feel its a delay tactic for the Clean Power Connect project. PMPL has been crying poverty to the towns in NH that host it and demanding tax concessions so I don't think any of the towns would object if a new power line went in with potentially much higher revenues. I personally would not care and would rather have HVDC than crude oil buried in the ground plus I may get new driveway and possible a check as the right of way deed is specific to crude oil pipelines.

    As an aside, given all the PR in New England about New England running out of natural gas, the PNGTS is capable of increasing its flow by reportedly 30% directly to the main natural gas distribution system for New England. The reason it has not been upgraded is no entity wants to pay for the upgrade which involves putting 4 or 5 compressor stations along the line. it probably one of the fastest ways to increase gas capacity to the region but it doesn't line up with the much more profitable plan of forcing a new pipeline to be run up from the Marcellus gas fields in PA up to New England.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I agree with Hammerdee. We need to reduce energy consumption from carbon-based fuels now, and every way we can. Global warming is the issue facing the world at the moment, and while some members want to talk about the politics of it, and whether it's going to get through or not, this is a hiker's forum, and I see no reason why the politics of it can be discussed but the inconvenient truth of global warming cannot.
    I think Peakbagger's point is that you should start a separate thread if you want to discuss renewable energy vs. fossil fuel. This thread is about status and updates regarding the CPC project. But I defer to the moderators.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    I agree, we should stay on topic as both are worthy of their own threads. One is informative, the other is a debate. I agree, and forgive me for wandering off topic, we can do more to reduce consumption and feel it is wise to decentralize production but let's not repeat something stupid like CFLs which are now quickly outdated and a mercury problem ... and I'm replacing all my bulbs with LEDs just as fast as all those free CFLs burn out!

  15. #30
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    The Mass attorney general has some very interesting comments on how "green " the power will be from the proposed power line

    https://bangordailynews.com/2019/05/...etts-ag-warns/

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