T5 R7 — For the last 40 years, Duane Hanson has made his home on the remote shores of Whipple Pond, accessible only by snowmobile and a short ride in a 6-foot-long aluminum boat through an overflowing brook in late April.

His cabin, several miles from the nearest paved road on a 65-acre homestead, is heated with a wood stove. Food is kept cold with ice cut from the pond and stored year-round under sawdust in an ice shed.

The only power line is the cord that runs from two solar panels on wooden poles to the cabin, where the energy from the sun is used to power lights inside.

But that could change soon as Hanson and his wife, Sally Kwan, grapple with plans by Central Maine Power and its parent company, Avangrid, to construct 53 miles of new transmission line through a corridor from Canada to The Forks in an area largely off the grid.

The $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect is part of a proposal sought by Massachusetts to bring more renewable energy into the state.

The controversial project has many in the remote regions of Somerset County — where a new corridor would cut through the heart of sparsely populated woodlands — saying this pristine region and the lives of its inhabitants would be fractured forever. A close look in recent weeks at the lives of some of these people reveal deep connections with a way of life that’s poised to be disturbed.

“This is not my exclusive view,” said Kaleb Jacob, a registered Maine guide who is also president of the Upper Enchanted Owners Road Association, a group of about 50 property owners in Upper Enchanted Township. “This is a place anyone could come and see a view like this. Don’t do this to this area, please. This is the last frontier. Why would you do this here?”

The new power line corridor would cross the gravel road Hanson and Kwan use to get to their cabin, a spot they’ve marked with bright pieces of tape and a sign that reads, “No CMP Powerline Corridor.”

They worry that, at about a quarter-mile away from their property, the 100-foot-tall steel poles would be visible above the tree line and that the project would have other effects on their drinking water and the wildlife in the area.

The project already gained a key approval last month from the Maine Public Utilities Commission, but opposition remains strong as it goes before the Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission.

Also part of the debate over the area’s future is the question of what is the least harmful way to move forward in a society faced with increasing energy needs and demand for clean power.

Sally Kwan and Duane Hanson pose on April 23 at their summer kitchen outside their cabin on Whipple Pond. The couple heat their cabin with a wood stove and power their needs with two solar panels, but they worry that 100-foot-tall towers carrying power from Quebec to Massachusetts would overshadow them and the white pine trees that surround their property. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

CMP and project proponents say the project would reduce carbon emissions and help meet New England’s energy needs with hydropower from Canada. The new source of renewable power will help lower the cost of electricity in New England by putting more supply in the market.

“This is a project that’s about the environment,” said Thorn Dickinson, vice president of business development for Avangrid Networks. “It’s about protecting the future of the Maine woods for generations to come. We don’t pretend any large project doesn’t have some impact, but when you consider all the economic, ratepayer and environmental benefits, this is a real win for Maine.”

Some of the people who would be affected live off the grid and say that’s part of the appeal in the western Maine woods — a lack of power lines. They say the project isn’t needed in Maine and isn’t worth cutting a new transmission corridor across local landmarks such as Coburn Mountain and Rock Pond.