Opposition is mounting to Central Maine Power’s proposal to build a major new transmission line through western Maine.
The 145-mile line would carry electricity from Canada’s Hydro-Quebec dam system to customers in Massachusetts. A growing number of stakeholders are saying there’s little or no benefit for Maine, while treasured resources, such as the Kennebec River Gorge, would be compromised.
State Sen. Tom Saviello, a Republican who co-chairs the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee, says he’s asking officials in several of the towns in his district that would host the new line to take a closer look, even though CMP has already garnered their support.
“I want the environment protected. That’s critical to me. No. 2, I want the community to benefit from this one-way power line some way or another,” he says. “I am not opposed to this line, however if those things are not addressed I will be dead-set against the line and I will take whatever action I can to prevent it from being put in.”
Last week, an independent analysis commissioned by state energy regulators found that reductions in electricity prices the project could produce would be about a third of what CMP projected. And state environmental regulators have raised what they call “serious concerns” about crossing the Kennebec River Gorge.
CMP says the project will still benefit Maine’s economy, and that it is working with stakeholders to mitigate its impacts.