The proposed Central Maine Power New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line through west central Maine is under review. It will transport renewable hydropower from Quebec to the large Massachusetts market. Towns that the line passes through will acquire new tax income and many jobs will be created during construction. Many host municipalities have modest tax bases and weak economic profiles.
NECEC will have a negative impact on some locations. CMP has worked to limit such problems. For example, the Kennebec Gorge crossing has been carefully sited and there is still an issue. The Western Mountains and Rivers Corp. (a non-profit) has negotiated a $22 million package with CMP to aid in conservation projects to offset negative elements related to the crossing.
Opposition comes from several sources. Whitewater rafters object to seeing the lines. But without CMP releasing water from its dam system, there would little rafting. Wilderness users also protest visual intrusions. Many of those same people are from the Bay State and want their lights on back home.
As a former director of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, I believe the overall impact of this project will be good for the area, Maine and New England.
Paul Frederic, Starks