ELLSWORTH — Weaver Wind will sell the energy produced by its 72.6-megawatt wind project to Emera Maine, according to a press release from the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) this week.
“This 20-year contract should create real ratepayer benefits for Maine,” said Commission Chairman Philip Bartlett.
Maine is part of a wholesale electricity market in which power is sold region-wide. In 2017, nearly three-quarters of the state’s net electricity generation came from renewable energy sources, which include wood, hydro and wind power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Maine also leads New England in wind power, with Maine turbines accounting for two-thirds of the region’s generation last year. Once Weaver Wind is finished, it will boost Maine’s wind generating power by roughly 7 percent.
Under the contract, Emera Maine will pay Weaver Wind 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour, increasing at 2.5 percent per year, which Bartlett said “is very competitive and provides a valuable renewable resource for Maine.”
The 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour is less than Weaver Wind officials had initially proposed, at 5 cents per kilowatt hour. The price will be 4.37 cents per kilowatt after 10 years.
Weaver Wind, which is being developed by Longroad Energy, received the final stamp of approval from the state in May and officials have said they plan to break ground this summer and have the 22 turbines up and running by next year.
If Weaver Wind’s turbines are as efficient as the company has predicted, they will generate enough electricity to provide energy for around 40,000 homes each year and around $8.4 million in annual revenue for Longroad.
The Weaver Wind contract is the first wind energy project approved by the commission this year. It is the second renewable energy project, with the other being a solar farm also located in Hancock County.
In February, regulators approved a contract with the 100 megawatt Three Rivers Solar project, with pricing terms similar to Weaver Wind’s. The solar farm, which is located in Township 16 and is slated to go online by 2021, will be the largest in the state with a capacity of 100 megawatts.