First Wind strikes wind power purchase agreement in Maine

Mars Hill's energy output will stay local and be distributed to homes and businesses in Northern Maine by New Brunswick Power

Mars Hill, Maine, May 25, 2011 — First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, today announced a power purchase agreement 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 prices.

Mars Hill Wind, which features 28 turbines with the capacity to generate up to 1.5 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.

First Wind currently owns and operates three wind projects in Maine — the Mars Hill project and the 57 MW Stetson Wind I and 26 MW Stetson Wind II projects near Danforth. In addition, construction is nearly complete on the 60 MW Rollins Wind project in Lincoln. Commissioning for that project is expected in the next two months.

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