Hydraulic – The Justice gives the green light to Iberdrola’s major interconnection project between the US and Canada

The promoter of the project, the Spanish multinational Iberdrola, had received authorization for the development of the NECEC at the beginning of 2021 and had already invested 450 million dollars in it. However, the citizens of the State of Maine voted in a referendum last November against the construction of the project, which is being developed by Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Avangrid, together with the Canadian HydroQuebec. A decision that the Supreme Court of Maine declared unconstitutional on August 30.

In a statement, Avangrid affirms that this decision of the Court of Justice, taken unanimously, “is a victory for the expansion of clean energy, the development of transmission and decarbonization efforts in Maine, New England and throughout the country.”

The company adds that “it is time to move away from the ‘status quo’ of fossil fuel companies who will undoubtedly continue their struggle to maintain a stranglehold on the New England energy market.” These companies, it continues, had tried to stop the project “in every possible legal way, presenting challenge after challenge in a desperate effort to maintain its share of the market”.

Avangrid assures that the NECEC is good for Maine, “because it will generate hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in the State at no cost to Maine” and offer lower energy prices, helping to protect “against wild fluctuations in price now being experienced by Maineans who rely on fossil fuels.”

The goal is for the interconnection to allow the transportation of hydroelectric power from Quebec, significantly reducing carbon emissions in New England. Specifically, the 145-mile-long power transmission line will provide 1,200 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectric power to the New England grid in Lewiston (Maine).

The line is built on land owned or managed by Central Maine Power. Once built, it will be the largest renewable energy source in New England and will represent a fundamental energy shift for the State away from the use of fossil fuels. It will be able to satisfy the demand of 1.2 million households and, according to Iberdrola, It will save customers $190 million a year.

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