Montreal, November 30, 2022
New England Clean Energy Connect –Maine’s Supreme Court recognizes land lease obtained by Hydro-Québec’s Maine partner to be valid
In its second favorable decision regarding the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), the Supreme Court of Maine has validated the lease obtained by Hydro-Québec’s Maine partner, NECEC Transmission LLC, from the state’s Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL).
On August 10, 2021, the Superior Court of Maine had initially invalidated NECEC Transmission’s lease required for the power line to cross a one-mile stretch of public land.
The Supreme Court of Maine yesterday vacated the earlier Superior Court decisions and determined that the BPL acted within its constitutional and statutory authority in granting the 2020 lease. This judgment is final as the Supreme Court decided all aspects of the case.
Other expected decision
In its decision of August 30, 2022, regarding the 2021 referendum, the Supreme Court unanimously found it unconstitutional for voters to repeal the powerline’s permit if the permits and authorizations the developer initially obtained were done so in accordance with existing laws and regulations and if the construction work was started and continued in good faith. The case was remanded back to the trial court, the Maine Business Court. Trial on this matter is scheduled for April 2023.