US-based renewable energy company First Wind has won long-term contracts as part of a competitively-bid process, managed by Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, to supply more than 330MW of clean power to Massachusetts utilities from two of its planned Maine wind power projects.
Pending approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the contracts will see First Wind supplying power to homes and businesses across the commonwealth from its 147MW Oakfield wind project in Aroostook County and the 186MW Bingham wind project in Somerset County.
In May 2013, Massachusetts utilities solicited bids, under Section 83A of the 2012 state energy bill, for contracts to purchase renewable power from prospective bidders for around 15-20 years.
Having received siting approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in January 2012, the company is likely to commence construction of the 48-turbine Oakfield project by the end of 2013 and commission it by 2015.
Once operational, the Oakfield project, which will generate enough electricity to power approximately 50,000 homes, will sell its output to Massachusetts customers of four utilities as part of a 15-year contract.
The 62-turbine Bingham project, which is in the advanced permitting stages with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, will generate enough electricity to power almost 70,000 Massachusetts homes. The project will sell its output to Massachusetts utilities as part of a 15-year contract.
The projects, which are likely to qualify for federal investment tax credits, will be the sixth and seventh First Wind projects in Maine.
Image: Two proposed Maine wind farms to power Massachusetts customers. Photo: courtesy of First Wind.