October 27, 2022 Hallowell, Maine – The Maine Public Utilities Commission selected two projects to promote renewable energy development in northern Maine, as required by law. The first is for the development of a 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to connect renewable energy resources located in northern Maine with the New England grid and the second is a renewable energy generation project […]
October 27, 2022
Hallowell, Maine – The Maine Public Utilities Commission selected two projects to promote renewable energy development in northern Maine, as required by law. The first is for the development of a 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to connect renewable energy resources located in northern Maine with the New England grid and the second is a renewable energy generation project to transmit power across that transmission line.
“We were very pleased with the number and creativity of the proposals we received in this complex bidding process,” said PUC Chair Philip L. Bartlett II. “These projects will provide significant benefits to Maine and the region, including jobs during construction, property tax revenue for local communities, and environmental benefits from new renewable energy displacing fossil fuels. The influx of renewable energy into the regional grid will also place downward pressure on electricity prices, benefitting consumers in Maine and throughout New England. Importantly, these benefits will accrue to Maine whether we pay for this line or someone else does.”
LS Power Base was selected for its transmission project at a cost of $2.88 billion and Longroad Energy’s King Pine 1,000 MW wind generation project was chosen resulting in savings of $1.08 billion. Together, the net cost of the two projects is a projected $1.8 billion over a 30-year period.
The Commission did not make a final determination as to how much of the cost of the project Maine ratepayers can reasonably absorb but directed Commission staff to look to other states to assess if there are partnerships that could reduce the costs to Maine. The Commission directed staff to provide a report by January 15, 2023, as to the initial determination of regional partnerships, and based on that determination, recommend next steps to advance these projects.
The projects selected in today’s decision were evaluated based on the following requirements and objectives, as required by statute: total cost, value to Maine ratepayers, economic benefits to northern Maine, project viability, technical and financial qualifications of bidders, and land use issues.
The Commission conducted the bidding process in accordance with The Northern Maine Renewable Energy Development Program (Program) established by P.L. 2021, Chapter 380, codified at 35-A M.R.S. § 3210-I (Act). The Act establishes certain parameters and criteria for the Program and this process, including but not limited to factors that would indicate the technical and financial viability of proposed Projects; make use of existing rights-of-way and transmission corridors; and maximize benefits to Maine ratepayers.
Additional information about this procurement is available at: https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/Common/CaseMaster.aspx?CaseNumber=2021-00369
About the Commission
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water, and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers, while also helping achieve reductions in state greenhouse gas emissions. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, gas safety and Dig Safe. Philip L. Bartlett, II serves as Chair, Randall Davis, and Patrick Scully serve as Commissioners.
Learn more about the Commission at www.maine.gov/mpuc