More than $ 60 million was spent in a fight over the hydropower corridor, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

Portland: Spending on a fall referendum aimed at halting a utility corridor in western Maine has surpassed $ 60 million, with energy companies putting money into advertising ahead of the vote. It’s already a record for spending on a referendum poll in Maine, about a month before the vote.

As of late 2019, energy companies have poured more than $ 60 million into the battle for the 145-mile transmission line that will serve as a conduit for Canada’s hydropower.

The project, which would be wholly funded by Massachusetts fee payers to meet the state’s clean energy goals, involves building a power line from the Mount Beattie community on the Canadian border to the regional power grid in Lewiston, Maine.

Proponents say that all of New England would benefit from renewable energies and stabilized prices. Critics say the environmental benefits of the project have been overestimated and will permanently deface the landscape.

A November 2nd referendum poll lets Maine voters have their say.

The project has received all the necessary permits and construction is underway. But a court ruling has challenged a lease for a 1-mile section. More litigation is expected if the referendum is approved.

The project’s two partners, Central Maine Power and Hydro Quebec, have combined approximately $ 13 million in the campaign over the past three months that ended Tuesday.

Mainers for Local Power received $ 7 million during the reporting period from NextEra Energy Resources LLC, a Florida-based utility company that owns the Wyman oil-fired power plant in Yarmouth. Other energy opponents of companies that will lose a stake in the electricity market, Calpine Corp. and Vistra, also donated money for the project.

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