Despite attacks on the New England Clean Energy Connect, state regulators have begun the process of collecting proposals for a high-voltage transmission line to serve as a conduit for renewable energy projects in northern Maine.
A state law required the Maine Public Utilities Commission to begin planning for a transmission capacity of at least 345 kilovolts to connect northern Maine renewable energy projects to the New England power grid.
The project aims to address one of the obstacles to renewable projects in rural Maine — access to the power grid.
It’s a similar to the proposed 145-mile (233-kilometer) transmission line that would be a conduit for Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid. But it would serve a different purpose as a conduit for Maine-based renewable energy projects.
State voters rebuked the New England Clean Energy Connect in November, and the permit was suspended by the Department of Environmental Protection. Work has halted for the time being.