WILTON — Voters at a special town meeting Tuesday showed overwhelming opposition to Central Maine Power Co.’s New England Clean Energy Connect project.

The nearly unanimous vote by more than 200 residents rescinded the Select Board’s Nov. 21, 2017, letter to the Public Utilities Commission expressing support for the project and directed the board to issue a statement on behalf of residents showing their opposition.

Wilton residents vote overwhelmingly Tuesday to rescind the town’s support of Central Maine Power Co.’s New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line and formally oppose the project. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

The $950 million project involves building a 145-mile transmission line to deliver power generated by Hydro-Quebec in Quebec to users in Massachusetts. The line through Maine would begin in Beattie Township in Franklin County and extend east and south into Somerset, Androscoggin and Cumberland counties.

Speaking in opposition of the project, resident Travis Grindle said, “We are going to pay a price for this project. Not just us, but our children and grandchildren. What do we want to give up so we can get a little bit of money back? We are getting nothing out of this deal, absolutely nothing.”

Selectperson Thomas Saviello said CMP recently proposed a $258 million package which would benefit Maine over 40 years if the utility company gets permission to build the line through the western part of the state.

“Divided by 1.4 million Maine residents, that means each of you will get 37 cents per month over the next 40 years, Grindle said. “CMP estimates a $60 million profit per year on the project,” he said.

Hydro-Quebec is expecting $100 million in net revenue of the next 20 years, he added.

Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri said the outcome of the vote did not take away the right to testify at PUC hearings. The commission is expected to make a decision on permitting by the end of March or early April.


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