The proposed route of a new power corridor suggests a roughly 140-mile overhead transmission line that would impact around 3,500 landowners in Maine. Beth Boepple, who represents a group of landowners who are opposed to the potential route, was quoted in this recent article.
But by selecting a project with overhead transmission lines, Maine is ignoring a lesson from both Northern Pass and NECEC, according to Beth Boepple, a Portland attorney who represented opponents in both cases. It’s technically feasible to run high-voltage cables underground along existing corridors or roadways, she said, and that’s what Maine should require.
“It’s one of the lessons we should have learned,” she said. “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”
One difference, Boepple said, is opponents have organized early. There’s still time to press the PUC and permitting agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protection to require underground cables. That could avoid long and costly legal battles, she said.