EDP Renewables, Central Maine Power and Emera Maine, a unit of Emera Inc., reached agreements that will enable renewable energy from a new wind power 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 Number Nine wind project, which is currently under development at a site west of Bridgewater, Maine, will have an installed capacity of 250 MW. EDPR already has contracts with electric utilities in Connecticut for the renewable 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.
Last year, Emera Maine and CMP, a unit 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.
Emera Maine 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.