letter to the editor

CMP corridor

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 6:00pm

Dear Editor:

As an official resident of Los Alamos, New Mexico, I can't vote in Maine elections. You might say that Question 1 on CMP's energy corridor is none of my business. However, my wife and I are summer residents of Boothbay Harbor; we have a cabin in Sprucewold and have been coming here almost every year since 1964.

We've heard many TV commercials, pro and con, about the corridor. The article, “What You Need To Know Before You Cast Your Vote On CMP Corridor Referendum,” explained how the issue is more complicated than just sending electricity to Maine and Massachusetts. I won't touch on the issue of ex post facto laws, i.e. retroactivity. My interest involves the eco-friendly nature of the electricity to be transported. Quebec-Hydro, as the name implies, produces hydro-electricity which is one of the most environmentally friendly sources, much like wind. It has less environmental problems than solar, the other popular energy source.

As a physicist, my field for over 50 years involves energy; my professional concern was more nuclear, but I've carefully studied all energy sources. I'm very aware of the problems of climate change, global warming, sea-level rise, and the difficulty of quickly changing a world that primarily relies on fossil fuels for electricity.

Some the ads against the corridor, i.e. a yes vote on Question 1, claim all the electricity will go to Massachusetts. This is incorrect; it will flow from Canada into the New England grid which services New England, including Maine. The total power coming from Canada according to Quebec-Hydro is 1,200 MW (Megawatts), roughly the power produced by a modern nuclear plant. If my research and math are correct, the corridor will add almost 4% to the grid, Maine will receive 85 MW or 7.2% of the total, and Massachusetts will receive almost 600 MW or nearly half of the total.

My principal point is that the benefit to the environment by providing zero carbon power, to my mind, outweighs the other concerns about the issue. Please consider this as you decide how to vote on Question 1. Yes, both sides, pro and con, have vested interests in the outcome and this influences the commercials you get.

Dr. T. Douglas Reilly

Boothbay Harbor and

Los Alamos, New Mexico