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Canada Gives Green Light For CMP's Controversial Hydropower Transmission Project

Brian Bechard
Maine Public

The controversial New England Clean Energy Connect transmission project reached an important milestone this week, with Canada giving a green light for construction north of the border. The powerline is under construction in western Maine, but it will ultimately extend into Canada, northwest of Jackman.

On Thursday the Canadian government issued a permit for work to move ahead there. Initiated by Central Maine Power, the $1 billion project aims to bring up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to the New England grid, to serve contracts with Massachusetts utilities. The project already has federal and state-level permits in the U.S. in hand, although most of those also face court challenges.

Permits from several local governments in Maine also have yet to be secured.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.