February 21, 2019 (PORTLAND, ME) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has joined with several partner groups to propose a settlement agreement with Central Maine Power (CMP) related to the utility’s proposed New England Clean Energy Connect project. CMP is planning a 145-mile transmission line through Maine to connect more than 1000 MW of Canadian hydropower to the New England electric grid. The settlement was filed with the Public Utilities Commission.
“The disastrous effects of climate change are at our front door and we must take aggressive action to reduce our emissions to zero by 2050,” said Greg Cunningham, Vice President and Director of CLF’s Clean Energy and Climate Change program. “The Clean Energy Connect project will significantly reduce New England’s climate-damaging emissions by providing low-carbon electricity and decreasing our reliance on natural gas. We worked with CMP and other stakeholders to improve this project so that Maine’s families and businesses will benefit from local, clean energy.”
CLF collaborated with Acadia Center, the Governor’s Energy Office, the Office of the Maine Public Advocate, the Industrial Energy Consumer Group and several other organizations on the settlement agreement, which would impose conditions valued at $260 million on any approval of the project issued by the PUC.
Among other provisions, CMP will be required to: improve the electric grid for existing renewables; provide $15 million to advance electric vehicles and charging stations in Maine, $15 million for the installation of heat pumps, and $50 million for energy efficiency programs, each with a focus on low and moderate income Mainers; and provide up to $2.5 million to develop solutions to enable new renewable energy in Maine and undertake greenhouse gas emissions reduction planning.
CLF will continue to be involved in the permitting process before other state agencies to ensure that the project avoids, minimizes and mitigates any negative impacts to the greatest extent possible.
To read the full agreement, click here.
CLF experts are available for further comment.