Jay board approves shoreland zoning permit for New England Clean Energy Connect project


JAY — The Planning Board approved a shoreland zoning application Tuesday for about 7 miles of the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line expected to go through the town.

The decision came after board members went through the criteria of the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance that applied to the corridor. The board accepted the application as complete in April and held a public hearing on it May 4.

The overall proposed 145.1 mile high-voltage, direct current electric transmission line would run from the Quebec border to Lewiston to connect with the New England power grid to send “clean, renewable energy to Massachusetts consumers, according to developers.

The proposed transmission lines, estimated to cost $1 billion, and related facilities are capable of delivering up to 1,200 megawatts of electric generation. The section of New England Clean Energy Connect’s approximate 7.09-miles in Jay will run from Turmel Road at the Livermore Falls line northerly to through Jay and into Chesterville.

The existing corridor will be widened 75 feet on land owned by Central Maine Power Co. with no new land acquired in Jay. Forty-four new poles, including three double poles, will be directly embedded into the ground. Four of the new poles associated with Fuller Brook and one new pole associated with an unnamed tributary of Clay Brook come under the standards of the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

Board member Susan Theberge asked about decommissioning but because there is no criteria in the ordinance for it, that could not be a condition like some towns have done, the board’s attorney, Sally Daggett, of Jensen Baird in Portland, said.

The board approved the application for shoreland zoning provided all applicable standards of the permit are met as proposed. The permit will expire in one year from the date of issuance. If a substantial start is made within a year of issuance of the permit the applicant shall have one additional year to complete the project, at which time the permit will expire.

If anyone is unhappy with the board’s decision, they may appeal in writing to the Board of Appeals within 30 days after the permit is issued.

The permit may also be revoked because of any breach of representation. If revoked, all work would cease until a permit is reissued or a new permit is issued.

As part of the conditions, NECEC representatives give consent to Code Enforcement Officer Ronda Palmer to enter and inspect activity under the permit provisions. Third-party inspectors representing the state will inspect the project.

The board gave permission for Chairman Delance White to sign the permit once it is completed.


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