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Maine Utility Regulators to Reconsider 2 Wind Power Projects

By Alanna Durkin, The Associated Press
HALLOWELL, Maine - Maine utility regulators have decided to reconsider proposals for two wind power projects that it had previously approved.

The three-member Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 on Wednesday to reopen negotiations for the Weaver and Highland Wind projects, which received initial approval for long-term contracts in December. The contracts were not yet finalized.

Mark Vannoy, who became chairman after the projects were first approved, acknowledged that the move was unusual. But he and Commissioner Carlie McLean said it's important to reconsider the proposals to ensure ratepayers get the best deal due to changes in the energy market.

Commissioner David Littell echoed the concerns of wind industry officials, who said the effort will signal to investors that Maine regulators don't keep their promises and cause jobs and economic growth to go elsewhere.