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Connecticut signs on for massive wind, solar farms

Connecticut has signed long-term deals with a 20 megawatt solar farm in Lisbon and a 250 megawatt wind farm in Maine in order to meet the state’s clean energy goals.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday electric utilities Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating signed 15-year contracts with Number Nine Wind Farm in Maine and with Fusion Solar Center for a development on land in Sprague and Lisbon. The two projects will generate 3.5 percent of Connecticut’s electric load and help achieve the state’s goals of 20 percent of power come from renewable sources by 2020.

The contracts still must be approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

These purchases are part of Malloy’s comprehensive energy strategy and set a new path on how the state meets its clean energy goals. Previously, CL&P and UI met the renewable goals through buying credits from clean power producers like biomass plants. This new method allows the utilities to contract directly with developers, which should lead to an increase in renewable development because the long-term contracts offer the developers stability for their products.

The Fusion Solar Center will be developed in Sprague and Lisbon on land owned by the Fusion Paperboard Co. The developer will be Virginia-based HelioSage Energy.

Number Nine Wind Farm will be in Aroostook County, Maine, developed by the Houston-based North American subsidiary of Spain’s EDP Renov├íveis.