Canadian hydropower to Northeast project awaits zoning OK

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BREWER, Maine (AP) Regulators are reviewing the potential environmental impact of a proposed 145-mile (230-kilometer) transmission line that would bring Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid.

Maine's Land Use Planning Commission plans to deliberate Wednesday.

Maine utility regulators have endorsed the New England Clean Energy Connect, which also awaits approval from Maine's environmental agency.

Much of the project calls for widening existing corridors, but a new swath would be cut through 53 miles (85 kilometers) of wilderness in western Maine.

Opponents concerned over Maine forests and homegrown solar and wind projects are considering pushing for putting the $1 billion project to a statewide vote.

Supporters say the project would drive down regional electricity rates and reduce carbon pollution. Central Maine Power promises to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives.