Hydro-Quebec wants to run clean, renewable power into Maine and as part of the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project. I’m all for it.

Despite opinions to the contrary, Maine will benefit directly from this important project. The NECEC will bring $140 million in direct electric rate relief on top of $350 million in indirect relief through lower wholesale energy prices throughout the region over the next 15 years.

Hydropower, solar, and wind are the future of clean energy in Maine and the U.S. Today, Maine is overdependent on oil and gas, in fact, the most dependent state in New England on fossil fuels. We can break from that dependence by relying on a trusted source of reliable power with a long history in Maine.

Hydropower is the oldest renewable energy source, and we keep innovating more efficient ways to use it. Many mills were turned by water even before the invention of manmade electricity. My own father worked to construct a series of dams in the Sierra-Nevada more than 50 years ago. These structures are still in use today and send power into Sacramento.

As was true in my father’s time, hydropower means jobs. The NECEC will create 1,600 good paying construction jobs at an average of $38 an hour for Maine workers to construct the lines and update this state’s power grid.

Hydropower has worked for centuries. It can work for Maine today.

Roy Grice

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