The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last week announced a decision to move ahead with a 1-GW wind farm development and an associated power transmission project that will feed electricity into the New England grid.
The commission determined that Longroad Energy’s 1-GW King Pine Wind project in Aroostook County, northern Maine, and a transmission line proposal by LS Power Grid Maine are in the public interest.
The projects, selected through a competitive process, were conditionally approved in November but the Maine PUC was looking for partnerships to offset costs to Maine ratepayers.
The two schemes are moving ahead thanks to a collaboration with Massachusetts, which will procure 40% of the projects. The estimated net costs to Maine ratepayers would thus be about USD 1 billion (EUR 928m) and could be reduced further if more partners take part.
"These projects will provide significant benefits to Maine and the region, including jobs during construction, property tax revenue for local communities, and environmental benefits from new renewable energy displacing fossil fuels," PUC chair Philip L Bartlett II said, adding that the delivery of renewable power to the regional grid will also place downward pressure on electricity prices.
LS Power said the commission issued the order to move forward with its transmission project on Friday. The plans include more than 100 miles (161 km) of new transmission lines and multiple substations, the location of which will be determined through an “open and transparent siting process.”
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.928)
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