Mainebiz news story
The three-member Maine Public Utilities Commission issued an order on Friday that extends its review of Central Maine Power’s $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project into next year.
In their procedural order — which follows an Oct. 26 order suspending three hearings originally scheduled to be held on Oct. 30, 31, and Nov. 1 — the commissioners outline a revised schedule for testimony, technical conferences and hearings related to CMP’s proposed 145-mile transmission to deliver hydro-power from Canada to serve customers in Massachusetts.
The 145-mile transmission corridor extends from the Quebec-Maine border through western Maine to Lewiston, where it will connect with the existing electric grid and deliver 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy generated by Hydro-Quebec to the Bay State, which selected CMP’s project over other competing bidders for its Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP.
The new schedule postpones PUC’s decision on the project until at least March 2019.
Technical conferences are now scheduled for Nov. 28 and Nov. 30 and for Dec. 18 and Dec. 19. A pre-hearing conference is set for Jan. 3, with hearings to follow on Jan. 8, 9, 10, and 11.
Maine Public reported that CMP’s project spokesman John Carroll said the PUC’s rescheduling of a target date for its decision from December until March 2019 won’t affect the timeline envisioned for undertaking the project.
“The fact that this one step in the process is delayed doesn’t really affect the rest of the permitting we have, with either the state environmental agencies or with federal agencies,” Carroll told Maine Public. “So it doesn’t affect our endpoint for the process, which is really late 2019.”