The Public Utilities Commission will hold public witness hearings Friday in Farmington and The Forks about the proposed power line.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission plans to hold public witness hearings Friday in Farmington and The Forks to hear from members of the public on Central Maine Power Co.’s proposal to build a 145-mile transmission line from Quebec to Lewiston.
The hearings on the New England Clean Energy Connect project will take place at 6 p.m. at the following locations:
• The University of Maine at Farmington, Roberts Learning Center, Room 131 — Lincoln Auditorium, 207 Main St., Farmington
• The Forks Town Hall, 2612 U.S. Route 201, The Forks Plantation
A commissioner from the PUC will be present at each location, according to a news release from the commission, and any sworn public testimony will be used as evidence as the commission considers whether to approve the project.
NECEC, which is up for permitting by the PUC as well as the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission, would include 145 miles of new transmission line from the Canadian border to Lewiston and reconstruction of an additional 55 miles from Lewiston to Massachusetts. CMP has touted benefits such as additional tax revenue for communities along the corridor, construction jobs, enhanced broadband and lower energy costs as part of the project.
Opponents have raised concerns about the effect of the new power line on the environment, tourism and wildlife; whether Maine is getting enough benefits from CMP; and whether the project would threaten the development of renewable energy in the state.