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Since the Vigue/Cianbro proposal is currently inactive, and the court decision between Penobscot Nation and Attorney General Janet Mills asserted that the State of Maine does have jurisdiction over the Penobscot River, STEWC's steering committee has been following an effort by MEPCO to acquire land for a new corridor that will carry a high-tension transmission line through the communities of Chester, Mattamiscontis Township, Howland, Lagrange, Orneville Township, Atkinson, Charleston, Corinth, Exeter, Corinna, Saint Albans, Palmyra, and Pittsfield. That corridor coincides with several sections of the route suspected to be on the original plan for the east-west corridor.We have immediate concerns over the possibility of use of Eminent Domain against landowners that do not reach an agreement with MEPCO. MEPCO is now seeking right-of-way through town-owned land in Corinna, for example, and has informed Corinna officials that it will secure that right-of-way no matter that it has yet to obtain permission from ISO New England to proceed with this project.
Eminent Domain is not supposed to be used unless it is for the Public Good. However in this case, public good has not been established since this transmission project reduces electrical costs for out of state ratepayers, not Mainers. Relating to the EWC, there is also a concern that a transmission corridor today could easily be expanded into a pipeline corridor in the future.
MEPCO stands for "Maine Power Company" and was formed by Central Maine Power (CMP) and Emera for their joint projects. CMP is owned by Iberdrola, a Spanish utility corporation, and Emera is a Canadian utility corporation. The current purpose of the transmission corridor, according to Elizabeth Swain MEPCO spokesperson, is to connect the new industrial wind projects in Northern Maine to Southern New England states that are demanding "green energy," as well as to "shore up" the grid in Maine. ISO New England, which oversees the operation of New England's bulk electric power system by its member utilities, has rejected MEPCO's proposal to provide wind-generated electricity to southern New England, the prime justification for the corridor.
Here is a map that MEPCO provides of its electric lines and pipelines. The full map is available at Emera.