HALLOWELL, Maine (AP) — The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Oct. 26 approved a pair of energy projects that would generate enough wind power for up to 900,000 homes along with construction of a new transmission corridor to get the electricity to the regional power grid.
The PUC was required by law to choose the projects to boost transmission capacity and renewable energy in Aroostook County.
It chose LS Power Base for a 345-kilovolt transmission project and Longroad Energy’s King Pine for a wind generation project, but it didn’t rule on how how much of the cost would be borne by Maine ratepayers.
Together, the net cost of the projects is $1.8 billion over a 30-year period but they would benefit the state, officials said.
An influx of energy into the regional grid would “place downward pressure on electricity prices, benefitting consumers in Maine and throughout New England,” said PUC Chair Philip L. Bartlett II.
It’s a similar to the proposed 145-mile (233-kilometer) transmission line that would be a conduit for 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid, but it would serve a different purpose.
State voters rebuked the New England Clean Energy Connect last November, and work was halted pending the outcome of a lawsuit.