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Agreement Will Bring Low-Cost Wind To Central Mass.

DECEMBER 16, 2013

Boston-based First Wind announced a 25-year agreement to provide wind-generated power, at cost, to 17 Massachusetts towns, including eight in Central Massachusetts.

Under the fixed-price contact with the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), a state-run power supplier, MMWEC will buy power generated at First Wind's planned wind project in Hancock County, Maine, and resell it to its member towns. In Central Massachusetts, those include Boylston, Groton, Holden, Paxton, Shrewsbury, Sterling, Templeton and West Boylston.

First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor said in a statement that the agreement is a "major step forward" in building the Handcock project, which will feature 17 turbines, each with a 3-megawatt capacity.

"We look forward to moving toward construction on this project and making a major economic investment in Down East Maine," Gaynor said.

The Hancock project will be First Wind's sixth in Maine. The company, which develops and operates renewable energy projects throughout the United States, also operates a wind farm in Sheffield, Vt., and is building four solar projects in Massachusetts, including one in Millbury and one in Warren.

Power generated at the Hancock wind farm will be added to MMWEC's energy portfolio, which includes power from solar, wind, natural gas, oil and nuclear generation. Power from those sources is also sold at cost to member municipalities.