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Equipment in place to begin construction of controversial power transmission line

Access roads are being plowed and equipment staged to begin construction of the 145-mile New England Clean Energy Connect line.

PORTLAND, Maine — An excavation company has begun plowing access roads and staging equipment to begin construction of an electricity transmission corridor aimed at bringing Canadian hydropower to the New England grid.

Much of the 145-mile (233-kilometer) New England Clean Energy Connect calls for widening existing corridors, but a new swath would be cut through 53 miles (85 kilometers) of wilderness in western Maine.

A utility official says in an affidavit that clearing is set to begin as soon as this Monday.