In A Win For CMP, Maine Utility Regulators Approve 145-Mile Transmission Line

Maine's top energy regulators handed a win to Central Maine Power Thursday in its bid to build a controversial power line through western Maine.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a "Certificate of Convenience and Public Necessity” that CMP needs to move the 145-mile project forward.

Commission Chair Mark Vannoy says potential harms of the project are outweighed by its benefits for the state.

“When we're looking at the public interest we're looking beyond the local impacts,” Vannoy says.

He emphasized that Massachusetts residents would finance the billion-dollar project under a contract mandated by that state's government for enough renewable energy from Canadian dams to power a million homes.

That energy influx, he says, would put a brake on electricity prices in Maine, while providing a low-polluting replacement for natural gas and nuclear plants in the region that are due to be retired. And, he says, critics’ claims that it would not produce a net reduction in global greenhouse gas pollution are wrong.

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By Fred Bever