EDP Renewables says the need to build new transmission lines and the loss of a power-purchase agreement with utilities in Connecticut contributed to the company's decision to withdraw its application.
A 119-turbine wind farm in Aroostook County that would have been the largest in Maine and one of the largest ever planned for New England has withdrawn its application, citing interconnection problems.
EDP Renewables has told the Department of Environmental Protection that it’s not going forward for now with the Number Nine Wind Farm.
The project was proposed three years ago for ridges west of Bridgewater, but needed new transmission lines to connect it with the New England grid. That has taken longer than expected, and last summer, the project lost a power-purchase agreement with utilities in Connecticut. Since then, a proposal to build new transmission lines from northern Maine was rejected during a bidding process in which the three southern New England states were choosing clean-energy projects.
Number Nine Wind Farm would have had an installed capacity of 250 megawatts, which the company said could power 51,400 homes for a year. The project also would have triggered hundreds of millions of dollars in investment in The County.
In a statement Monday, Katie Chapman, the project manager for Number Nine, said the company voluntarily withdrew its DEP application to “refresh the project design” in areas including wildlife and wetland data. She said the project would pursue a new power purchase agreement.
“Number Nine is an excellent project and will benefit from recent improvements in technology including superior performing wind turbines,” Chapman said. “Although the project delays are disappointing, they haven’t lessened our optimism about the site’s prospects to bring clean, affordable energy to New England.”
The withdrawal was welcomed by groups that are fighting development of wind turbines in rural Maine. They celebrated in posts on the Citizens’ Task Force on Wind Power website.
“Fantastic news! We need to keep pressure on,” wrote Brad Blake of Cape Eizabeth, a frequent blogger on the website.