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First Wind wins bids for two plants in Massachusetts

Two of First Wind’s proposed Maine wind power projects have been selected by Massachusetts utilities to provide clean wind energy to homes and businesses.

The projects were selected through a competitive bidding process overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The contracts will provide clean energy from the 147 megawatt (MW) Oakfield Wind project in Aroostook County and the 186 MW Bingham Wind project in Somerset County.

“We are pleased that our proposed Oakfield and Bingham wind projects were selected as part of the competitively-bid process,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “This is a direct outcome of last year’s energy bill that is helping to bring clean, renewable energy to Massachusetts consumers more cost-effectively.”
 
In May, Massachusetts utilities opened up initial bidding from renewable power generators for contracts that would last as long as 15 or 20 years. The clean energy procurement process was initiated pursuant to Section 83A of the 2012 Massachusetts energy bill, which required all of the state’s electric distribution companies to solicit proposals from renewable energy developers for the purpose of entering into cost-effective long-term contracts.
 
The energy from the Oakfield Wind project, which received siting approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in January 2012, is contracted to be sold to Massachusetts customers of four utilities as part of a 15-year contract. The Oakfield project will be a 48-turbine, 147 MW capacity project and will generate enough clean energy to power about 50,000 Massachusetts homes. Construction of the Oakfield project is scheduled to start by the end of this year and should be completed and online in 2015.

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