Companies work out transmission issues for 250-MW Maine wind project

Central Maine Power (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, EDP Renewables (EDPR), and Emera Maine, a subsidiary of Emera Inc. (TSX: EMA), announced Jan. 7 they have reached agreements on a new wind project in northern Maine.

The agreements advance the first of several transmission projects CMP and Emera Maine are jointly pursuing to address transmission congestion issues affecting the overall development of renewable generation in the region.

The focus of the agreements is EDPR’s use of a portion of a key transmission corridor known as the Bridal Path, between Houlton and Haynesville in Aroostook County, Maine. Under the agreements, Emera Maine and CMP are providing EDPR with an option to purchase a portion of the Bridal Path corridor to develop a new transmission line, with Emera Maine and CMP having buy-back rights to purchase EDPR’s development in the corridor. The project is being advanced as part of the transmission infrastructure needed to deliver energy from EDPR’s Number Nine Wind Farm to the ISO New England grid.

“Our companies have the corridors, the expertise, and the resources to create and deliver solutions for New England’s renewable energy goals,” said Sara Burns, president and chief executive officer, Central Maine Power. “These agreements among our companies allow EDPR to move ahead with a significant wind project, and are a key step toward an optimal transmission solution for the further development of northern Maine’s abundant energy resources.”

The Number Nine Wind Farm, which is under development at a site west of Bridgewater, Maine, will have an installed capacity of 250 MW. EDPR already has contracts with electric utilities in Connecticut for the energy from the Number Nine Wind Farm, and is in the process of securing necessary permits and approvals for the project. The agreements with CMP and Emera Maine will allow EDPR to move forward in the coming weeks with a formal application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

“Making use of an existing transmission corridor makes sense,” said Bill Whitlock, executive vice president at EDPR. “The Bridal Path corridor is ideal. It enables development of the wind farm and the economic benefits that it will bring to the local community, and makes environmental sense as well. We’re pleased CMP and Emera Maine are working with our company to make this happen.”

Last year, Emera Maine and CMP announced an agreement to work together on development of transmission solutions to enable cost effective collection of wind energy in northern Maine. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two companies is consistent with regional initiatives to diversify New England’s electricity generation portfolio, and is intended to facilitate improved access to new renewable energy in the North, where ISO New England has indicated further renewables development is challenged by transmission related limitations.

“The Houlton to Haynesville line and other transmission investments we are jointly assessing with CMP can create significant long term value for customers in Maine and the New England region,” said Gerry Chasse, president and chief operating officer, Emera Maine. “Together these projects will address current and future transmission constraints, and create reliable and economic paths to market.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 18 had accepted an Oct. 31 filing by Maine Electric Power of a Second Engineering and Procurement Agreement with Number Nine Wind Farm LLCNumber Nine is planning to construct a 250-MW wind farm in Aroostook County, Maine, and had requested generation interconnection service for the wind farm. In order to advance the implementation of the interconnection, Number Nine has requested under the ISO-NE Open Access Transmission Tariff that Maine Electric begin certain engineering and procurement activities. The intent of this agreement is to provide detailed engineering and other services to review the proposed interconnection of the Number Nine Wind Farm into the Maine Electric line at Haynesville, Maine.

The project developer contact information is: Number Nine Wind Farm LLC c/o EDP Renewables North America LLC, 808 Travis Street, Suite 700, Houston, Texas 77002, Attn: Executive Vice President, Eastern Region.

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.