AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine Power today said its controversial transmission line project will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change, and said a new climate study would mean a needless delay.
Opponents of the New England Clean Energy Connect are asking the Legislature to order a new study of how much the project would reduce carbon emissions for the northeast.
Climate has been listed as one of the primary reasons for the project, which would carry clean hydro power from Quebec to Massachusetts and the New England grid. Gov. Janet Mills said climate benefits are a primary reason she is supporting the project. At a public hearing on Friday, the vice president for business of Avangrid Network, CMP’s parent company, said there is ample evidence that bringing that amount of hydro power into New England would cut emissions.
"There has been extensive time at the PUC addressing this issue, including three independent experts," said Thorn Dickinson of Avangrid. "And in that record the analysis clearly demonstrates the NECEC will reduce carbon emissions by 3 million metric tons per year."
But opponents say the climate benefits are overstated.
They say there is no evidence that Hydro Quebec is bringing new hydropower into the region, and argue that the company will be shifting hydro power from other customers, replacing it with electricity generated by fossil fuels. That, said Sandra Howard of Say No to NECEC, means no reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions.