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Maine’s largest power plant taken off the market, reflecting changes in regional demand

Posted Aug. 12, 2014, at 12:44 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Wyman Station, the state’s largest power plant, is no longer on the market as its owners saw increasing profits from the oil-fired power plant in the first quarter of 2014, when winter constraints on natural gas supply for electric generation resulted in greater demand for power from the oil-fired generator.

After logging a loss from its Maine fossil fuel assets in 2013, Florida-based owner NextEra Energy — which owns Wyman Station — revealed in an earnings statement that it would keep the 796-megawatt portfolio of oil-fired generation resources in Maine.

“During the first quarter of 2014, based on a reassessment of valuation in light of new market information, the company reversed its earlier decision to sell its 796-megawatt merchant fossil portfolio in Maine,” the company said in its first-quarter earnings statement.

The plants it planned to sell included the company’s stake in the 822-megawatt Wyman power plant on Cousins Island in Yarmouth and the 18-megawatt Cape Gas Turbine in South Portland.

The company’s sale listing was viewed as a broader shift away from oil generation in New England, but capacity restrictions for natural gas led the region’s grid operator to tap the power station last winter.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the power plant generated about 158,000 megawatt hours in January, up from about 12,600 megawatt hours in January 2012 and about 33,500 in January 2011. The plant generated nearly twice its January 2014 amount 10 years prior, putting out 361,317 megawatt hours of power in January 2004.

In March 2013, NextEra sold 351 megawatts of hydropower assets in Maine and New Hampshire to a unit of Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP.

 

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