Massachusetts and Maine Partnering on Large Land-Based Wind Project

Source: RL Martin

Following legislation signed by Maine Governor Mills that established the Northern Maine Renewable Energy Development Program to promote clean energy projects in its vast rural north, Maine regulators selected a new 1,000 MW onshore wind and associated transmission project to deliver new clean energy from northern Maine. This would more than double the amount of onshore wind currently installed in Maine, which has the most onshore wind in New England.

Upon Massachusetts Governor Baker’s signing of the 2022 Climate Bill, which authorizes Massachusetts to partner with other New England states to develop long-term clean energy solutions, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Maine outlining how the states would coordinate regarding the Maine procurement. In December 2022, Massachusetts found that up to 40% of the project would be beneficial and that they would move forward with contracting for this project. According to a public finding by the Massachusetts DOER, the wind and associated transmission project is expected to provide power to thousands of homes while lowering energy costs for the region, which has been reliant on natural gas and has been feeling the effects of global energy supply tightening. This decision reflects broad support in the region for clean energy development and comes after several significant commitments to renewable energy. With the participation of Massachusetts, the Maine Public Utilities Commission will now make a determination on contracting for the project. The finding from Massachusetts to participate in the wind project is "welcome support," said Dan Burgess, director of the Governor's Energy Office in Maine. He called the effort a "vital and transformational clean energy project."