November 4, 2020
Clean Energy Connect meets environmental standards Key U.S. agency approves clean energy power line in Maine
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has issued the federal environmental permit for the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line project, designed to deliver 1,200 megawatts of renewable hydropower to the New England energy grid via Lewiston, Maine.
The NECEC has met all of the licensing requirements thus far. The Army Corps of Engineers permit follows approvals from the following agencies:
- Maine Public Utilities Commission (May 2019);
- Maine Land Use and Planning Commission (January 2020);
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection (May 2020);
- Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (June 2019).
All of these authorities have given the project their seal of approval after extensive independent review and analysis from a range of subject-matter and technical experts.
“The NECEC project has once again proven its worth to a panel of experts, said Hydro-Québec CEO Sophie Brochu. This approval means that Maine and all of New England are one step closer to a future that’s powered by clean, renewable energy.”
The Army Corps permit is a significant milestone, since it clears the way for the launch of construction work in Maine by Hydro-Québec’s partner, Central Maine Power (CMP). CMP must also receive authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy as well as municipal-level permitting in Maine before it can construct all of the new interconnection’s components in the U.S.
For its part, Hydro-Québec must obtain approvals from the Québec government and the Canada Energy Regulator before it can start to deploy the new interconnection line in Québec.
The NECEC constitutes the largest single renewable energy project in New England. It will contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs throughout the region, including in Maine.
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