Referendum in Maine: opponents of Hydro-Quebec’s project ahead

Opponents of Hydro-Quebec’s major electricity export project in the state of Maine had a comfortable lead on Tuesday evening after nearly half of the polling stations were counted in a referendum.

According to local media reports, around 60% of voters voted to prevent New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) from going ahead and around 40% preferred the project to happen.

The result of the vote would also mean that future high-voltage power transmission lines of the kind would need the support of two-thirds of the state legislature to move forward.

The Appalaches-Maine interconnection line is expected to stretch for 233 kilometers in Maine. For Hydro-Québec, this would be a 20-year contract during which the state-owned company would have to send 9.45 terawatt-hours annually to Massachusetts.

Hydro-Québec had obtained the support of regulatory authorities to build and eventually operate the line.

Further details will follow.

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