First Wind, others advance 148-MW Oakfield Wind project in Maine

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on May 21 approved a Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) for a 147.6-MW wind project, with the backers on June 5 filing that agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The LGIA is between Bangor Hydro Electric (BHE), ISO New England and Evergreen Wind II Power LLC. The agreement covers the proposed interconnection of Evergreen Wind’s Oakfield Wind Project with Bangor Hydro’s system at Bangor Hydro’s 345-kV Keene Road substation.

The Maine commission noted that in April 2012, it had approved a proposed reorganization of BHE to create an affiliate that would be jointly owned by BHE’s ultimate parent Emera Inc. and First Wind Holdings LLC. On April 2, BHE filed a petition requesting that the commission approve the LGIA between ISO-NE, BHE and Evergreen Wind, a subsidiary of First Wind.

The LGIA addresses the interconnection of Evergreen’s proposed 147.6-MW, 48-turbine Oakfield Wind project to be located in Oakfield, Maine. The Oakfield Wind Project will connect to Bangor Hydro’s system at the Keene Road substation in Chester, Maine, via a 59-mile radial line. Under the LGIA, the costs of the interconnection facilities will be paid by Evergreen.

ISO-New England and the other parties on June 5 filed the final LGIA with FERC. On May 16, the parties had submitted compliance filings with FERC reporting on the outcome of the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s (MPUC) proceeding addressing certain affiliate transaction restrictions imposed by the MPUC on Bangor Hydro that impacted the Oakfield LGIA. In those filings, ISO-NE and Bangor Hydro reported that Bangor Hydro’s request for the approval of the Oakfield LGIA was pending before the MPUC and a decision was expected around May 21.

The June 5 filing with FERC said that MPUC approval had been granted on May 21. Subsequently, on May 23, Bangor Hydro executed the Oakfield LGIA. A copy of the fully executed Oakfield LGIA is attached to the June 5 filing.

Said the First Wind website about this project: “To date, First Wind has analyzed the wind resource, met with Oakfield town officials, and established partnerships with landowners to lease land for the wind turbines and transmission line right-of-ways. First Wind will also be working with several leading companies in Maine to develop the Oakfield Wind project, including: SGC Engineering, based in Westbrook, Maine; and Stantec, based in Portland, Maine. SGC Engineering will be providing both civil and electrical engineering, transmission system design, aerial photography and control, and support land acquisition services. Stantec will be providing environmental consulting services, which will include drafting applications and conducting a wide range of environmental studies.”

In total, First Wind said that it has worked with over 300 Maine-based businesses to develop, construct and operate its 185-MW, Maine-based fleet (Mars Hill, Stetson I and II, and Rollins).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.