LTE: John Nicholas: NECEC not good for Maine

Sun Journal

It is disappointing that Tom Rumpf and Lloyd Irland (guest column, May 17) are using a zero-sum approach to promote the New England Clean Energy Connect project in which the environment of the western Maine mountains must be sacrificed in order to save us from greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel energy.

Instead, they should support Vermont’s New England Power Link.

Hydropower, especially from Quebec, is not clean. The Massachusetts attorney general, acting as the public advocate, has shown, through expert testimony, that the NECEC will divert hydropower from New York and Ontario. An adviser for the Energyzt Corp. has demonstrated that hydropower sales to New England would be offset by lower sales to other customers, resulting in an increase in carbon emissions of up to 384,252 metric tons per year. Dr. Bradford Hager, a professor of earth science at MIT, has testified that hydropower from facilities in Quebec are among the top 25% of greenhouse gas emitters

The claim that the NECEC will invest $200 million in the Maine energy grid is untrue. Central Maine Power announced that it would like to invest $214 million in a Portland-area electricity infrastructure upgrade (source, March 13, 2018 article in Bangor Daily News). That upgrade would be paid for by ratepayers. Legislators and the public advocate criticized the proposal because it was too expensive and would not use smart-grid technology. Now it has re-emerged as an untrue selling point for the NECEC.

John Nicholas, Winthrop