EDP Renewables (EDPR), Central Maine Power (CMP) and Emera Maine, a subsidiary of Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA), announced today they have reached agreements that will enable clean energy from a new wind project in northern Maine to reach southern Maine and New England.
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 electric grid.
The Number Nine wind project, which is currently under development at a site west of Bridgewater, Maine, will have an installed capacity of 250 megawatts. EDPR already has contracts with electric utilities in Connecticut for the clean 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, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, 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,” stated Gerry Chasse, Emera Maine’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Together these projects will address current and future transmission constraints, and create reliable and economic paths to market.”
“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, CMP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”
Emera Maine is committed to delivering safe, reliable electric service. As the state's second-largest electric utility, the company delivers electricity to 154,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across 9,350 square miles in five counties in eastern and northern Maine. Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service merged to become Emera Maine in 2014. We're the same people with the same commitment.