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August 2, 2017

New proposal would deliver northern Maine wind power to Boston

Courtesy / Maine Power Express LLC
Courtesy / Maine Power Express LLC
The map shows the proposed transmission route for power generated at a 630-megawatt wind farm in Penobscot and Aroostook counties to Boston, under a joint venture calling itself Maine Power Express.

About the project's partners

Maine Power Express LLC is a joint venture among Loring Holdings LLC, National Resources Energy LLC and Transmission Developers Inc.

Con Edison Transmission Inc. is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc. (NYSE:ED), one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $48 billion in assets. CET invests in electric and gas transmission projects.

A joint venture calling itself Maine Power Express announced today it is partnering with County Line Wind in submitting a proposal to the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP to deliver electricity generated at a 630-megawatt wind farm in Penobscot and Aroostook counties.

Maine Power Express said in a news release that its proposed 1,040 MW high-voltage direct-current transmission line would be buried completely underground in an existing energy corridor and underwater to deliver electricity directly to Boston. It is partnering with Con Edison Transmission Inc. on the project, according to the news release.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, issued by Massachusetts utilities and the Department of Energy Resources, calls for a 20-year power purchase agreement for delivered renewable energy to meet the state's ambitious renewable energy goals. MPX's bid was delivered on July 27. Projects are expected to be selected in January 2018.

Less than a week ago, CMP announced that it had submitted several proposals in response to Massachusetts' Clean Energy RFP, including a new transmission line between Maine and Quebec that the company said could provide $150 million in annual electricity cost savings by tapping the hydropower resources of Hydro-Quebec.

The various transmission line investments proposed by CMP also would deliver energy from from varying combinations of wind, solar and storage facilities in eastern Canada and far western Maine.

MPX's renewable power source, County Line Wind, is a 630 MW wind facility located on forestry lands in Penobscot and Aroostook Counties in northern Maine.

Both County Line Wind and MPX projects are proposed to go into full operation in 2022, according to the news release.

"Con Edison Transmission is excited about the opportunity to bring clean, renewable energy to a major demand center in Massachusetts at a low delivered cost," said Timothy Frost, vice president of Con Edison Transmission. "Boston would gain additional reliability, economic benefits and access to clean energy. This unique transmission project has the ability to accommodate additional generation resources, creating flexibility for the Massachusetts utilities to optimize energy deliveries. Con Edison Transmission looks forward to bringing its engineering and financial strength to realize this project."

Hayes Gahagan, managing partner of MPX LLC, said the proposal's route is "optimal" for "connecting stranded wind resources in northern Maine directly to the Boston load center with minimal environmental impact."

"The MPX project does not require unsightly transmission towers, utilizes an existing energy corridor, avoids the taking and clearing of lands and has no adverse impact to the marine environment," he said.

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