First Wind Hopes Turbine Project is Approved. Again

John Davis

firstwind1A New England wind energy company is hoping Maine utilities regulators approve, again, a partnership with a Canadian power company to build a multimillion-dollar wind energy project. This article from the Bangor (ME) Daily News says Boston-based First Wind is asking for approval of its partnership to build the wind farms near Oakfield, Hancock and Bingham with Nova Scotia-based power company Emera, an approval that a court sent back to the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

In petitioning the PUC for a new approval after the state’s high court struck down the commission’s first authorization of the partnership, First Wind and Emera say the revised deal advances the state’s renewable energy development goals and that specific regulations governing the deal provide enough protection from opponents’ concerns of favoritism. They also argued that there is still room within the Maine Supreme Judicial Court opinion for the $360 million partnership to move ahead.

Those arguments have reversed earlier opposition by the PUC’s public advocate, whose job is to represent ratepayers in regulatory cases.

The Industrial Energy Consumer Group, which opposes the joint venture along with Houlton Water Co., criticized that reversal in a legal brief filed Friday with the PUC, arguing the deal would create an incentive for favoritism between Emera Maine and the sister company that would own a stake in wind power resources.

First Wind says it feels confident the $360 million project with Emera will move ahead.