The spreading of mistruths about CMP, Avangrid, and the Clean Energy Corridor has unsurprisingly continued since the November 2 referendum election. A recent column in the Portland Press Herald from two vocal corridor opponents not only rehashes falsehoods about the project and its developers, but clearly aims to carry them into the future.
The authors claimed that “site selection” of the corridor was one of the reasons it was opposed. That’s ridiculous, and they know it. Fossil fuel generators and competitors of the corridor like NextEra, Calpine, and Vistra didn’t care where the corridor was located—they cared only that it would hurt their profit margins. They spent tens of millions of dollars campaign against the project, and likely millions more fighting it in court and before regulators. The idea that “site selection” would have changed their financial incentive to kill the project is worse than revisionist history—it’s pure fiction.
The authors should take a look at the recent jacking up of the Standard Offer as evidence of NextEra’s financial incentive to block renewable energy projects that won’t help them turn a profit. NextEra will realize a massive financial windfall come January, when Mainers will begin to pay millions more for the power they generate at their facilities in Maine and New Hampshire. Price spikes like this could be mitigated in the future if more baseload hydropower were to connect to our shared grid, offering energy security and greater price stability for Mainer.
But energy security and price stability now or in the near future aren’t good for business when you benefit so greatly from the status quo that results in millions of dollars more in profits, and the impact on Maine families seems to be of little concern to these energy generators as long as the balance sheet looks good.