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Friday, November 9, 2012

The long path to an alternative energy super powerline in eastern Maine

Portland Press-Herald's energy reporter, Tux Turkel, had a good piece a little while ago on the status of the Northeast Energy Link project, which aims to run high-capacity DC lines along I-95 in Maine, providing a way for wind towers and hydro plants in Maine and eastern Canada to send their electricity down to Northeast population centers.

This idea is similar to Northern Pass, the proposed DC line that would bring Quebec hydropower down to southern NH, in that it would be privately financed. It's likely to be less controversial because most of the line will be buried in the highway right-of-way, so there's less issue with huge new power lines destroying vistas - but as Turkel makes clear, it's far from a done deal, both for financial and regulatory reasons.

The line is being proposed to satisfy the need for renewable energy in New England, primarily in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Those states have aggressive laws to reduce their shares of electricity generated from oil, coal and natural gas, and increase capacity from wind, hydro, tidal and other regional sources, through policies known as renewable portfolio standards.

Read the whole story here.