A Texas-based company has filed an application with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to build a wind farm in Aroostook County for what would be New England’s largest wind farm.
EDP Renewables North America, a U.S. subsidiary of Energias de Portugal, filed the application for its Number Nine wind farm on Thursday evening. A spokesman for the DEP confirmed that staff had received the application, but said it would not be made available until it’s complete. The application was anticipated since the energy company has been working on the project for at least two years.
EDP Renewables is proposing to build the $613 million wind farm in central Aroostook County. Most of it would be in the Unorganized Territory with the closest town being Bridgewater, south of Mars Hill and near the Canadian border.
The Number Nine farm would have an installed capacity of 250 megawatts, which would make it the largest wind farm in New England, able to power roughly 70,000 homes. As proposed, the wind farm would consist of up to 119 turbines rated between 2 and 2.1 megawatts each.
The project would also include a 50-mile transmission line that would connect the wind farm to the ISO-New England power grid. Currently, Aroostook County is not connected to the New England power grid.
In January, Central Maine Power Co. and Emera Inc. agreed to allow EDP Renewables to use of a portion of a key transmission corridor known as the Bridal Path, between Houlton and Haynesville in Aroostook County, to connect its wind farm to the New England power grid.
EDP Renewables already has long-term contracts with electric utilities in Connecticut to supply electricity from the Number Nine facility.
The wind farm project would create an estimated 653 full- and part-time jobs and have a $356 million statewide economic impact over the three-year period it will be constructed, according to an economic study the company commissioned from Todd Gabe, an economics professor at the University of Maine. Once complete, the farm would support 16 full- and part-time jobs, representing almost $800,000 in labor income, according to Gabe’s study.
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