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Wind power from Maine coming to Marblehead

Light Department expands renewable-energy portfolio

By Staff reports, Marblehead Reporter Jan 13, 2014

Marblehead — First Wind, an independent U.S. based renewable energy company, and that Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company have signed an agreement that will bring clean energy from First Wind’s planned Hancock Wind project near Ellsworth, Maine to 17 Massachusetts municipal utilities, including Marblehead Municipal Light Department.

Under a 25-year, fixed-price contract, First Wind will sell 75 percent of power and capacity generated at the 51-megawatt wind farm to MMWEC. When built, the Hancock Wind project will feature 17 turbines, each with a capacity of 3 MW.

Marblehead’s share of the First Wind output will expand its current renewable-energy portfolio, which has one of the best fossil-fuel-to-renewable-energy purchase-power ratios in the state, according to plant manager Jay Anderson. Currently, its renewable-energy portfolio includes the Berkshire Wind Cooperative, First Wind, Eagle and New York Port Authority Hydro.

“The energy from Hancock Wind is being sold to MMWEC at a cost-competitive price that will help to stabilize utility rates and contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint,” said Phil Sweeney, chairman of the MMLD Board of Commissioners. “The MMLD Board of Commissioners is committed to purchasing as much renewable power as possible.”

MMWEC is a nonprofit public corporation and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which provides a variety of power-supply, financial, risk-management and other services to the state’s consumer-owned municipal utilities. Sweeney is a member of MMWEC’s board of directors.