AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Public Utilities Commission has selected bids for six new solar projects and an existing wind farm project as part of its mandated shift toward clean energy.
The solar projects announced Tuesday will contribute 100 percent of their output to supply Central Maine Power and Versant Power customers and the existing wind project will contribute 50 percent of its output, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Helix Maine Wind Development LLC, located in the Boundary Mountains in Franklin County, is the wind project. The PUC selected two bids each for solar projects from Glenvale LLC and Walden Renewables and awarded Swift Current and C2 Energy Capital LLC each one solar project.
“Initial prices range from 2.8 cents to 3.9 cents per kilowatt-hour. These prices, combined with the economic and environmental benefits that the projects will provide, are a positive outcome for Maine,” said PUC Commission Chairman Philip Bartlett.
The projects will sign long-term contracts with CMP or Versant Power that the commission will approve and review annually, the commission said in a statement.
Legislation passed in 2019 mandated that Maine increase the amount of renewable energy in its supply to 80 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
In September, the PUC approved 17 renewable energy projects for long-term contracts, which was the largest procurement of renewable energy in Maine’s history.
The commission scored bids in the selection process that put the greatest weight on competitive rates, the newspaper reported. Job creation, benefits to the community and avoided emissions were also factored into the scoring.
More information about the new round of projects will be released by the PUC, but initial estimates were that the projects would create 175 full-time jobs during construction and 14 full-time jobs a year in operations, the newspaper reported.