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InvestmentsMaine voters reject Quebec hydropower transmission line By Reuters

Maine voters reject Quebec hydropower transmission line By Reuters

© Reuters.

(Reuters) – Mainers voted on Tuesday to reject a $1 billion undertaking to carry hydropower from Quebec into New England, after a years-long battle that pitted clear power advocates in opposition to locals in search of to protect the state’s pristine woodlands.

The battle over the so-called New England Clean Energy Connect undertaking displays the issue that builders face nationwide in siting new transmission traces. Many extra of those should be constructed within the coming many years to modernize the nation’s creaking grid methods and join farflung renewable power sources to inhabitants facilities.

Some 59% of Maine voters rejected the undertaking, with almost 90% of poll stations reporting by Wednesday morning, in accordance with native media shops.

NECEC, a undertaking of power firm Avangrid (NYSE:), was meant to carry some 1,200 megawatts of Quebec hydropower to New England alongside a brand new 145-mile transmission line via Maine’s northern forests. More than three quarters of the hall has already been cleared with about 100 poles put in, Avangrid mentioned final week.

Supporters of the undertaking, together with Avangrid utility Central Maine Power and HydroQuebec, billed it as a approach to assist New England states and the nation battle local weather change, since hydropower manufacturing emits no greenhouse fuel emissions.

But opponents, supported by U.S. energy firm NextEra which has competing producing tasks in New England, argued that the line would trigger everlasting injury to Maine’s north woods and damage the area’s tourism business.

The battle for votes value either side mixed almost $100 million, making it the most costly referendum query in Maine’s historical past.

The undertaking was first proposed in Maine in 2017 after a earlier proposal to run a transmission line via New Hampshire was blocked by native opposition. It obtained a sequence of state and federal permits between 2019 and 2021 and started building in early 2021.

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