green rolling mountains stretch into the distance
Maine Forest: The view from Number 5 Mountain in Leuthold Preserve. © Ian Patterson


TNC Maine Statement on Construction of the New England Clean Energy Connect Transmission Project

  • Jeremy Cluchey
    Director of Strategic Communications
    The Nature Conservancy

  • Rob Wood
    Director of Government Relations and Climate Policy
    The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy in Maine provided extensive testimony in the Department of Environmental Protection permit proceedings for the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission project, including recommendations for avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating the proposed project’s habitat fragmentation impacts. Now, the project’s ability to maintain or obtain right, title, or interest to the full length of the corridor is in question due to the Superior Court ruling in Black v. Cutko and the new law passed by referendum on November 2, 2021, that will, upon taking effect, prohibit transmission lines like the NECEC in the Upper Kennebec Region and require two-thirds approval by the Legislature for such projects crossing public lands.

To prevent unnecessary environmental degradation and habitat fragmentation from construction of a project that may not come into service, TNC in Maine is calling for a halt to construction of the project until Black v. Cutko and NECEC LLC/Avangrid’s lawsuit challenging the referendum are resolved.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.