energy from First Wind’s Mars Hill Project providing affordable
First Wind announced a Power Purchase Agreement
(PPA) with New Brunswick Power to sell all of the energy from
First Wind’s Mars Hill wind farm site. The four year deal replaces
the PPA set to expire in December of this year. Mars Hill’s energy
output will stay local and be distributed to homes and businesses
in Northern Maine by New Brunswick Power, which won the opportunity
earlier this year to provide standard offer service to all customer
classes in Northern Maine. At the time, the Maine Public Utilities
Commission called the 10-21 percent price decreases under NB
Power’s standard offer supply a “sharp reduction” in electricity
“Ratepayers and businesses in Maine will
be the direct beneficiaries of this deal. Northern Maine consumers
have seen their electric bills go down, and locally-produced
wind power is one of the energy sources being used,” said Michael
Alvarez, president and CFO of First Wind.
Mars Hill Wind, which features 28 turbines
with the capacity to generate up to 1.5 Megawatts (MW) each,
was the first utility-scale wind energy project in New England.
The 42 MW project was commissioned on March 27, 2007. The prior
PPA entailed the power being sold to New Brunswick Power, and
then to ISO-New England, where it was distributed to New England
homes and businesses.
The new arrangement will distribute the power
directly to local ratepayers in Northern Maine. The transmission
fees that First Wind has been paying – $1 million per year since
2007 – will continue to be paid under this new arrangement.