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A battle for Canadian hydropower is brewing in the northeastern U.S.

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 753 items added with 371,828 views
  • Jan 12, 2023
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News that the Champlain Hudson Power Express began construction came with great celebration. The 339-mile transmission line would secure clean, renewable hydropower would be delivered from Quebec to New York City for generations to come.

Well, the party for the Champlain Hudson skipped over New York City's neighbor to the north, Connecticut, mainly because Connecticut's neighbors to the north — Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, have turned down efforts to connect new transmission lines for Canadian hydropower. Connecticut officials have seemingly had enough, and see Canadian hydropower as critical to getting the state off of its natural gas reliance. 

The Hartford-Courant reported that Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the state needs to find a way around New England's opposition and connect to Canadian hydropower. Two proposed transmission lines over the last three years failed in the permitting process, including the transmission line that was, for now, shutdown through a referendum by Maine voters.

Connecticut's case seems to be a uniquely New England one — political leaders in the state seem to want more infrastructure and options for renewable energy, but are possibly too small to make progress on their own, while also being unable to find necessary common ground with their regional partners. New England's ability to get major renewable projects depends on a unique need of regional, intrastate partnerships. The political maneuvering required will be interesting to watch as the need for these large scale renewable projects grows. 

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