About 60% of Mainers who voted Nov. 2 adopted a policy banning high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region, which looked like the death knell for a plan to bring power to Massachusetts from hydropower projects in Quebec.

But, according to Gov. Charlie Baker, the hydropower proposal isn’t dead yet.

The power from Canada is seen as a key element to the Bay State’s push for more renewable energy.

In an interview on GBH Radio Monday, the governor said the vote in Maine that retroactively banned construction of transmission lines in that region is problematic because the plan had already been approved by government agencies.

Baker said his administration is waiting for a court to rule on a lawsuit challenging the ballot question’s constitutionality. The $1 billion transmission line project would be overseen by Central Maine Power Co., whose corporate parent, Avangrid, has vowed to press ahead with the lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the vote.

For his part Baker said, “The ballot question was a retrospective reversal of a decision that had already been made by duly appointed and authorized boards, and people have begun spending money and making investments based on those approvals and that authority.”

In other words, just because a majority of Mainers who voted to limit something doesn’t mean their wishes will prevail.

If the hydropower transmission project does get scrapped, it puts a serious crimp in the Bay State’s plans to buy more power from renewable sources – in this case, hydro-electric dams in Canada – while moving to meet the state’s carbon emissions reduction requirements for 2030.

This is the second time a plan by Massachusetts to import electricity from Canada has hit a roadblock; New Hampshire regulators rejected the Northern Pass project in 2018, which would have built a 192-mile transmission line through the Granite State.

There’s no easy or quick fix to this problem but consumers in Massachusetts have to hope the state has other irons in the fire to find enough green energy sources in the coming decades.

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