Key leases for hydropower transmission line upheld by Maine prime court docket
- Pollinitiative can’t revoke leases for proposed NECEC transmission line, said court docket
- The mission would ship some 1,200 megawatts of trim vitality to New England
(Reuters) – Maine’s best likely court docket on Tuesday upheld key leases for the proposed $1 billion Avangrid Inc transmission line connecting Canadian hydropower to New England, in a victory for trim vitality advocates after years of authorized wrangling over the mission.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court said a 2021 say pollinitiative that requires “excessive-affect” electrical transmission traces on public land to secure legislative approval couldn’t be applied retroactively to block say leases for the New England Gorgeous Vitality Connect (NECEC) mission. The 145-mile-lengthy proposed transmission line would rotten lower than a mile of the say’s northern forests.
Avangrid general counsel Scott Mahoney said in an announcement the firm is “happy with as of late’s ruling” and additionally they no longer sleep for figuring out subsequent steps on the mission, which has been paused since the dwell of ultimate year.
The Maine attorney general’s place of job declined to commentary.
The NECEC mission would ship some 1,200 megawatts to New England, or ample to energy roughly 1.2 million houses. Supporters of the mission — which consist of Avangrid, utility Central Maine Vitality Co and Hydro-Québec — billed the powerline to assemble the skill to support New England states and the nation fight climate switch since hydropower doesn’t emit greenhouse gasses.
Opponents, supported by the American energy firm NextEra Vitality Inc, which has competing vitality initiatives in the placement, argued the line would motive permanent damage to Maine’s woods and damage the placement’s tourism financial system. That opposition resulted in a 2021 pollinitiative that required a two-thirds vote from the say legislature sooner than excessive-affect transmission initiatives equivalent to NECEC can secure say approvals.
The suit made up our minds Tuesday became first filed in 2020 by Republican say Senator Russell Gloomy and varied officials, who said the Maine Bureau of Parks and Land didn’t gather the authority to lease public reserve lands to the builders. They later claimed the pollinitiative mooted the sphere.
In August, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in desire of the builders in a separate case related to a certificates of public need and comfort issued by say utility regulators. The five justices said the voters couldn’t retroactively revoke that certificates if the builders had begun development in honest faith and established a vested interest.
The case is Gloomy v. Bureau of Parks and Lands, Maine Supreme Judicial Court, No. BCD-21-257.
For Russell Gloomy: James Kilbreth of Drummond Woodsum
For the developer: Nolan Reichl of Pierce Atwood
For the say: Lauren Parker of the Maine Plight of business of the Attorney Total
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