Maine’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the constitutional challenge presented by Hydro-Québec’s Maine partner: NECEC Transmission LLC, with regards to the construction of transmission lines as part of the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project.

The Court is remanding the case back to the trial court to confirm the company’s vested rights in the project. There is another, related case still pending before the Maine Supreme Court concerning the validity of a state lease obtained by NECEC Transmission LLC for the line to cross a mile of public land.

Hydro-Québec and its US partner NECEC LLC are currently reviewing the Supreme Court’s decision in order to determine next steps and potential impacts to the transmission line’s construction calendar.

Hydro-Québec said the project remains part of its long-term vision, as the company is committed to supporting the transition to a clean energy future, both within Québec and beyond its borders.

The NECEC project has been proposed to deliver 1200MW of hydropower across a 233km long transmission line which would be located in forests in Maine. Construction began in early 2021 and to date, approximately 124 miles of the transmission corridor have been cleared and over 120 structures have been installed. The project has been reviewed by state and federal regulators and permitting agencies and has received every regulatory approval required at the state and federal levels, including from the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC), the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP), the Maine Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the US Department of Energy. 

The lawsuit was filed back in 2021 after voters in Maine rejected plans for the $1 billion project.