April 08, 2020
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Passadumkeag Wind sells for $127 million to Southern Power

Photo by R.W. Estela | BDN
Photo by R.W. Estela | BDN
Passadumkeag Mountain, Saponac Pond in the foreground, mountains of MDI in the distance.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Atlanta-based energy company Southern Co. has purchased the Passadumkeag Wind project in Grand Falls Township for about $127 million.

The energy company’s wholesale power subsidiary Southern Power said construction is nearly complete for the 13-turbine project that overcame an initial permit denial from the Department of Environmental Protection and withstood an appeal to the state’s top court in late 2014.

“Construction activities began in 2015 and are expected to be completed shortly after this acquisition,” the company said in a news release Monday.

The publicly traded Southern Co. said in a June disclosure that it expected to pay $127 million for the 40-megawatt project, subject to some potential price adjustments.

Southern Power will buy the project from the Houston-based developer Quantum Utility Generation.

Regulators had denied a permit to the project that’s visible from nearby Saponac Pond because of the scenic impact on the mountain and lake views. It was the first wind project in Maine to be denied a permit.

Quantum appealed the decision to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, which overturned the denial based on its own review of the case.

On appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, opponents argued the BEP went beyond its authority to add to the record in the case. The court found that the board was within its right to act as a fact finder and decision maker on review.

The project is Southern Power’s first purchase in New England. Most of the capacity from the project is already committed to serve Western Massachusetts Electric Co., through a 15-year contract.

The company said the acquisition fits its strategy of growing its wholesale electricity business by acquiring and building power generators mostly committed to customers through long-term contracts.

Passadumkeag Mountain is 1,463 feet tall and located southwest of Saponac Pond directly east of Greenbush, in Penobscot County. The turbine towers are about 275 feet tall.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the township where Passadumkeag Mountain is located.

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