Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Municipal power cos. to buy Maine wind power
By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Several local municipal electric companies have signed an agreement to buy power from First Wind, which is building a wind farm in Maine.
The agreement between First Wind and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company is a 25-year, fixed price contract in which First Wind. MMWEC will then sell the electricity to 17 of its members, which includes municipal utilities in Ashburnham, Boylston, Holden, Paxton, Shrewsbury, Sterling, Templeton and West Boylston.
Also part of the agreement are municipal utilities in Chicopee, Groton, Holyoke, Ipswich, Mansfield, Marblehead, Peabody, Russell Wakefield and Westfield. The city of Burlington, Vt. is also purchasing power from First Wind.
When built, the Hancock Wind project will feature 17 turbines with a capacity of 3 megawatts each and be situated near the operating 34 megawatts Bull Hill Wind project in Hancock County, Maine, which began operations in November 2012. The energy from the Hancock Wind project is being sold to MMWEC at a cost-competitive price that will help to stabilize the utilities' rates over the 25 years of the contract.
First Wind currently operates five wind projects in Maine and one in Sheffield, Vt. Combined, the six projects generate enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes.
In addition, First Wind is currently building four solar projects in Massachusetts — including projects in Millbury and Warren — which are scheduled to be in operation this year. The towns of Millbury and Orange have signed agreements to buy power from First Wind.
Aaron Nicodemus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org