Hey, there! Log in / Register

Maine voters reject Quebec-to-Massachusetts hydropower line

CTV reports officials in Quebec, looking forward to the $10-billion deal with the Bay State, are already telling Maine what it can do with its referendum.

Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

I'd like to congratulate the fossil fuel industry on buying another election. Round of applause, guys.

up
Voting closed 20

How are we ever going to meet the electricity demands and clean energy goals when we do finally electrify everything if projects like this keep getting shot down?

If this was some sort of non-renewable power plant I'd get it, but we need transmission lines regardless of what energy source is being used. You can't just not build it forever.

up
Voting closed 14

If America wants to switch to electric everything there is no alternative but to expand the electrical infrastructure everywhere. That's true in Maine, East Boston, Nantucket's shore, Duxbury, etc.

up
Voting closed 44

Unfortunately, hydropower companies like to use massive dam releases to generate power. That much water scours the river, removing plant material and destroying habitats. There are less destructive ways to generate hydropower but it's more effort by the companies.

In Canada, hydropower gets to do whatever it wants, including overriding local conservation laws. Here they need to work with permitting agencies and follow the rules.

up
Voting closed 25

Wind power has its problems too, as does solar, as does anything. All of those are still better than natural gas.

Anyway, I don't think Maine voters were primarily concerned about the sourcing, but about local, short-term impacts.

up
Voting closed 25

But there's still a need for more long haul transmission lines. Parts of Maine along the coast and Canadian border are well positioned for wind power -- better then anywhere else in New England. But wind turbines also have environmental problems.

up
Voting closed 7

Yes! This is why I voted Yes on question 2. We need more electric infrastructure.

up
Voting closed 9

If I lived next to where they were going to build this, yes I would probably be against it. Otherwise, why would people vote No? If you drive any distance in any state, you'll pass powerline right-of-ways. They are not unique and not a big deal.

up
Voting closed 13

The power line does not benefit the citizens of Maine, so they are not keen on any environmental impact at all, no reason to support.

up
Voting closed 10

That they don't share the same air and water as the rest of us.

up
Voting closed 27

Nearly half of the US$1 billion invested in the project would be deployed in Lewiston, where the infrastructure would be built to bring electricity from Hydro-Quebec to Massachusetts, said the municipal official.

He estimated that the project would increase municipal tax revenues by US$6 million to US$7 million out of a total budget of approximately US$50 million.

It's cute to pretend this line is cutting through untracked wilderness, but it's mostly (from The Forks to Lewiston) following an existing route, and the new 53-mile corridor partly follows existing dirt roads through the heavily logged area between The Forks and Quebec.

IMAGE(https://dailybulldog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NECEC_OverviewMap_8-2-17.png)

There's a good reason there's already a fat transmission line coming down from The Forks. It carries power from Harris Dam, on Indian Pond, and from Wyman Dam, on Wyman Lake.

up
Voting closed 20

I knew that there were positives for Maine in this, but I haven't followed it closely enough to name them. Thanks for doing so!

up
Voting closed 4

The natural gas industry also spent a lot of money fighting this.

up
Voting closed 14

https://app.electricitymap.org/map

Burning trees for heat, that's okay, though. And biomass for electricity generation? Also good; 1/5 of Maine's energy generation is from biomass, including wood.

https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=ME

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=15431

up
Voting closed 8

When are the Greens going to wake to reality and smell the NGO Fair-traded Coffee

None of the "Green Technologies" can substitute for fossil fuels except for Nuclear Power

They are either:

  • Undependable, Sporadic in availability and un-schedulable -- Wind and Solar
  • Have huge environmental impacts -- Wind and Hydro
  • Require amazingly difficult to permit and highly risky long distance transmission lines -- Wind, Solar, Hydro
  • Require enormous footprints and hence can't be located close to major demand centers -- All
  • Can only be located in very specific locations due to their nature -- Hydro, Offshore Wind, On-shore Wind
  • Have uncertain lifetimes for the hardware and unknown disposal costs when the economic life is exceeded -- Wind and Solar

Only Nuclear is:

  • Proven reliable with many thousands of reactor-years of operational experience
  • Can be sited where it is close to major demand centers
  • Has a long operational lifetime
up
Voting closed 9

Undependable, Sporadic in availability and un-schedulable -- Wind and Solar

The ski area in my town runs its entire operation on a wind turbine and a solar array.

up
Voting closed 14

Off-shore wind is bad because it can only be located off-shore and on-shore wind is bad because it can only be located on-shore. Boats are bad because they can only be used on water and cars are bad because they can only be used on land.

I am generally in favor of nuclear power generation but we still don't have a great way to deal with the spent fuel and we tend to run our plans well past their designed lifespan.

up
Voting closed 22

They're all arguments used for decades by fossil and nuclear advocates, and are increasingly untrue. For instance: wind power has a "huge environmental impact?" What would that be, exactly?

The reality is that solar is now the cheapest energy source available, and is getting cheaper. Advances in battery and other storage technologies are eliminating the "unreliable" claim.

Nuclear is prohibitively expensive, and unnecessary. Sure, you can theoretically site it near population centers, but nobody will ever do that again. So the "risky long distance transmission lines" (again -- risky how?*) are required for nuclear and hydro, but ironically less so for wind and solar.

Nuclear and fossil fuels are rapidly becoming obsolete.

* "Risky long distance power lines" sounds like Edison arguing against alternating current.

up
Voting closed 10

I don’t think nuclear power is becoming obsolete. And I don’t think we can adequately respond to global warming without it.

Because setup costs are enormous for nuclear power, interest rates are an outsized factor in its financial viability.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-11-02/china-climate-goals-h...

up
Voting closed 5

Germany did that. Care to guess what form of electricity generation took it's place? I'll give you a hint. It's very popular in West Virginia and the Powder River Basin.

up
Voting closed 4

I looked it up. First, no they did not shut down all their nukes. If you believe they replaced some nuclear generation with coal, also no. Renewables currently supply almost half of Germany's electricity, and that share is increasing.

up
Voting closed 10

Like Germany's answer to PBS and their report on how "green" Germany is. Check it out yourself.

It's too bad there isn't an energy source that doesn't emit greenhouse gases and doesn't (checks out the article) depend on the wind blowing? If only there was such a thing? Well, at least the miners in the Ruhr are back at work.

Meanwhile, let's see how France generates electricity.

up
Voting closed 3

The way your previous comment reads, they got rid of coal and therefore now coal is king. Wind not providing enough energy is not the same as "they shut down all of their nuclear plants"

You mention bias, but every living thing exhibits bias, if only for some as a mechanism to survive. So if we cannot exist without bias, how about we try being honest and frank?

up
Voting closed 5

Germany is phasing out nuclear and investing in coal (see Sock Puppet’s reply below). New England is kind of doing the same, with cheap natural gas being the go to replacement for the humble atom.

up
Voting closed 6

New England is kind of doing the same...

By which you mean not at all the same.

up
Voting closed 3

Germany is shutting down the last of its reactors in 2022.

Also, Germany is producing more electricity from coal than from wind right now (heading into winter, with shorter days and colder nights).

https://app.electricitymap.org/zone/DE

As part of Germany's 2011 announcement their plan to close all nuclear reactors by 2022, they also planned 25 new coal-fired power plants, and brought 6.7 GW of new coal capacity into service.

Germany plans to close down its coal-fired power plants by 2038. Germany shut down its hard coal mining, but is still the largest lignite producer in the world, mostly for use in adjacent coal-fired power plants.

up
Voting closed 7

Spent fuel isn't as much of a problem as it's been built up to be (but yes, still a big problem).

The problem is there are better, smaller, more efficient designs for nuclear plants out there, but the cost to get the government to approve the designs is so overwhelming that no one wants to risk/invest in starting the process with the potential of being denied.

up
Voting closed 10

was brought to us by the same geniuses who are responsible for Question 2 on this year's ballot, which I'll paraphrase as "should we let them build this TERRIBLE ELECTRICAL MONSTROSITY that will kidnap your children and molest your pets and pour sugar in your gas tank, even though it could go somewhere else?"

up
Voting closed 10

Maybe we should rescind the Missouri Compromise so Maine becomes part of Massachusetts again.

up
Voting closed 7

Referenda should be banned. The right decision is not necessarily what you'll get by polling uninformed and misinformed voters. You'd do better to flip a coin; that at least will be a choice uninfluenced by the people who spent millions of dollars to buy the referendum.

up
Voting closed 3

Vote YES if you want to ban ballot referenda

up
Voting closed 6

That's what you are saying. Unless you are alternatively proposing some sort of issue literacy test before one is allowed to cast a ballot...

up
Voting closed 3