JAY — Representatives of NECEC Transmission LLC’s New England Clean Energy Connect project answered questions Tuesday night regarding its shoreland zoning permit application for the 7 miles of the proposed transmission line expected to go through the town.

The proposed 145.1 mile high-voltage, direct current electric transmission line would run from the Quebec border to Lewiston to connect with the New England power grid to send “clean, renewable energy to Massachusetts consumers,“ according to developers. The cost is estimated at about $1 billion.

Permitting specialist James Morin presented a short PowerPoint on the project.

Fourteen people, not factoring in six Planning Board members, attended the public hearing. Five or six of those were representatives of transmission corridor and eight were residents, according to town code enforcement officer, Ronda Palmer’s tally.

The proposed new transmission line would run for about 7.09 miles in Jay between Livermore Falls and Chesterville.

The project is considered an essential service under the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.


The transmission line crosses the resource protection district surrounding Fuller Brook and an unnamed tributary of Clay Brook, the stream protection district along James Brook, the limited residential district and stream protection district surrounding an unnamed tributary of Clay Brook — all in the east Jay area.

The project will require placement of four new transmission line poles associated with Fuller Brook and one new pole associated with an unnamed tributary of Clay Brook.

The existing corridor will be widened 75 feet in land owned by Central Maine Power Co. with no new land acquired in Jay.

There will be 41 new poles; however, three of those are double poles, making it 44 poles being embedded into the ground. The average height of the poles is 97 feet.

Planning Board member Susan Theberge asked if reception for electronic devices used by residents who abut the project would be affected by the line.

“No,” Gerry Mirabile, project permitting manager, said.


The company has state and federal permits and are still working on attaining local permits.

The construction in Jay would start in the summer and be completed in fall of 2022, Morin said.

Residents would not be responsible or have to pay for removal of the poles if the project for some reason doesn’t go through.

There is a citizen’s initiative to go before voters statewide in November that, if approved, could possibly ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and would require the Legislature to vote on other such projects in Maine retroactive to 2014, with a two-thirds vote required if a project uses public lands.

Mirabile indicated that if the initiative passes, there could be more legal action.

Jay resident Leslie Geissing, who is an abutter, said there needs to be more open communication between the company and residents. A post card indicating work is starting in the area is not enough, she said.

The Planning Board will begin deliberations on the permit application and check to see if it meets the criteria in two sections of the ordinance at 6 p.m. on May 18 at the elementary school gym.

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