FirstWind signs deal to send Hancock County wind farm electricity to Vermont

Posted Dec. 09, 2013, at 11:59 a.m.
Four wind turbines erected as part of the First Wind project in Township 16, Hancock County. Photo taken on Sept. 21, 2012.
Brian Swartz
Four wind turbines erected as part of the First Wind project in Township 16, Hancock County. Photo taken on Sept. 21, 2012.

First Wind has signed an agreement to sell a portion of the electricity generated at its Hancock Wind project near Ellsworth to an electric utility in Vermont.

Boston-based First Wind, which operates five wind farms in Maine, will sell 25 percent of Hancock Wind’s future electricity output to the Burlington Electric Department for 10 years under a fixed-price agreement.

The 54-megawatt Hancock Wind project will feature 18 turbines, each with a capacity of 3 megawatts, and be situated near its existing Bull Hill wind farm, which began operations in Hancock County in November 2012.

First Wind often signs long-term, power-purchase agreements with utilities as a way to lower the cost of financing the construction of the wind farms. It recently signed similar agreements with utilities in Massachusetts for two wind farms the company has under development in Aroostook and Somerset counties.

The deal will help the Burlington Electric Department reach a goal of sourcing 100 percent of the power it purchases from renewable sources, according to Barbara Grimes, general manager of the Vermont utility. The addition of the energy from the Hancock Wind project will bring the utility to 92 percent.

“This project will help provide clean, renewable energy to Burlington ratepayers at a highly competitive cost, and the Hancock Wind project will deliver significant economic benefits throughout Down East Maine,” Paul Gaynor, FirstWind’s CEO, said in a statement.

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