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LUPC of Maine approves CMP’s NECEC project [free access]

January 9, 2020

Central Maine Power (CMP), a subsidiary of Avangrid, has received approval for the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project from the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) of Maine.


The NECEC project, in combination with additional smaller improvements at various facilities in Maine, will have the capacity to deliver up to 1,200 MW of power from Hydro-Québec’s vast hydropower generating fleet in Canada, to Massachusetts through Maine. CMP proposes to provide a new link through a ±320 kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between Canadian Hydro-Québec and the New England grids. In Maine, the line will begin at the Canadian border in western Somerset County, and run 145 miles (234 km) to a new alternating current (AC)/direct current (DC) converter station in Lewiston. The project will be connected to the power grid of Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE) in Massachusetts.


The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has given its approval for the project, and the Department of Environmental Protection is likely to announce its decision in 2020.


The project is facing strong opposition due to its likely impact on the environment. The company hopes to break ground in May 2020 and finish the project in late 2022, but it still needs to secure further federal and state clearances.