.......Six new solar projects and one existing wind farm were selected Tuesday by the Maine Public Utilities Commission as the best clean-energy choices to supply power for Central Maine Power and Versant Power customers.
.......The one existing project winner, for 50 percent of its 132-megawatt output, was Helix Maine Wind Development LLC. The wind farm is in the Boundary Mountains of Franklin County. (Kibby Mountain)
.......Interest groups that support clean energy reacted favorably following the decision.
A spokesman for the Maine Renewable Energy Association, a trade group representing clean energy generators in the state, said the outcome will be a good deal for electric customers.
“Today’s unanimous approval by the Maine PUC demonstrates (that) a highly competitive bidding process will help to bring low-cost, high-value Maine-made solar and wind for the benefit of all Maine ratepayers,” said Jeremy Payne, the association’s executive director.
.......The Natural Resources Council of Maine said the project awards create a future in which Maine residents and businesses are powered by clean energy from local resources.
“The PUC’s approval of seven very competitive solar and wind energy projects is further proof that Maine’s vital transition to 100 percent clean energy is accelerating and beginning to deliver vast economic, environmental and public health benefits,” said David Costello, the group’s climate and clean-energy director.
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Central Maine Power customers may see their bills increase by double-digits in August, thanks to a sharp rise in federally mandated regional transmission rates that will affect most electric utility companies in New England.
The annual adjustment — which CMP projects will result in a 9 percent increase overall across the region — will be used to finance new high-voltage transmission lines and maintain existing lines, Maine Public reported.
The tariff will hit CMP harder than most, with rates increasing by $70 million, or about 25 percent.
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