FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The company proposes to cross under a scenic river segment in western Maine rather than pursue an overhead crossing
Augusta, Maine – October 18, 2018 – Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of AVANGRID (NYSE: AGR), has notified regulators of its intent to amend a key element of its proposed New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line to avoid an aerial crossing over the Kennebec River to address the concerns of state environmental regulators, the host communities, and other stakeholders. The company will submit a plan to cross under the river using Horizontal Directional Drilling technology to preserve the scenic and recreational value of the segment of the river known as the Kennebec Gorge.
“Maine and the region will benefit immensely from the New England Clean Energy Connect, so we are changing our proposal to address a key concern of state environmental regulators,” said Doug Herling, president and CEO of Central Maine Power. “This has always been under consideration. We believe this change may also encourage stronger support from those who appreciate the project’s benefits, but want to preserve the commercial and aesthetic value of the river as well.”
The New England Clean Energy Connect was selected in response to a Massachusetts initiative to increase the supply of clean energy as required under the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities is reviewing 20-year contracts among the state’s largest electric utilities, Central Maine Power, and Hydro-Québec for the delivery of 9.45 terawatt hours of electricity annually from Canadian hydropower facilities.
In Maine, the project will produce nearly $1 billion in economic benefits through construction employment, electricity cost savings, local property taxes, and enhanced economic growth between 2017 and 2027. The 20-year Massachusetts contracts will produce additional economic and environmental benefits in Maine through 2043, and separate agreements between CMP and Hydro-Québec could extend the delivery of clean energy benefits to Maine and the region to 2063 or beyond.