Maine Public Utilities Commission ponders contract for offshore wind project
The New England Aqua Ventus offshore wind project took another small step forward Wednesday. The Public Utilities Commission asked its staff to work out terms of a long-term electricity contract for the project.
A 2021 state bill to support the offshore wind industry directed the PUC to enter into a 20-year contract with the wind project, which would include 10 floating wind turbines, generating up to 144 megawatts of power.
After hiring a consultant, and conferring with the Governor's Energy Office and the Public Advocate's office, Commissioner Patrick Scully says the PUC has drafted terms he finds reasonable.
"That I believe represent appropriate and essential contract terms and contract pricing that will allow the financing construction and operation of this project at the lowest reasonable cost to ratepayers," he says.
The commissioners requested that staff negotiate the final details with New England Aqua Ventus and report back to them by June 15.
If regulators approve the project, it will be sited 45 miles southeast of Portland, and could produce power by the end of the decade.