Maine Power Express proposes bringing electricity to Massachusetts from new wind farms in Aroostook County via underground transmission lines from the southern Aroostook area to Searsport and then through underwater transmission cables from Searsport to Boston. The transmission lines would total approximately 300 miles and would cost $1 billion or more.....................
Maine Power Express is a joint venture of three companies — Loring Holdings, LLC, National Resources Energy, LLC, and Transmission Developers, LLC. The funding partner and expected owner and operator of the transmission project is Con Edison Transmission.
Gahagan said that this transmission line would provide a source for proposed wind farms in Aroostook County that have had potential buyers in southern New England, but no good way to access New England’s regional grid. These proposed projects include the Number Nine Wind Farm in central Aroostook County’s unorganized territories and King Pine Wind Farm straddling southern Aroostook and northern Penobscot counties. Each proposal for those wind farms called for more than 100 turbines and a capacity of 600 megawatts.
“There’s an estimated 2,300 megawatts of wind that’s been stranded up here for at least the last 10 years,” Gahagan said. “There hasn’t been any way to get this renewable resource out of Maine.”.............................
Dylan Voorhees, climate and clean energy project director with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said that the group has not taken a position on the Maine Power Express proposal. The NRCM is one of several groups opposed to the western Maine transmission line.
Vorhees said the NRCM would want to learn more about the Maine Power Express plan, especially the details of the underwater transmission lines, but that such wind projects with underground transmission lines could provide potential economic and environmental benefits.
“We’ve generally been enthusiastic about developing large scale renewables in The County, namely wind but also solar.”.........................................
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