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Northern Maine wind farm gets boost from Massachusetts

wind farm.jpg
Bill Trotter
Bangor Daily News
Blades on wind turbines nearly 500 feet tall rotate in the breeze in the Unorganized Territory in eastern Hancock County in this May 2018 photo.

A massive windfarm proposed for Aroostook County got a boost last week from a Massachusetts state agency.

Longroad Energy's $2 billion King Pine project would be built on timberland owned by Irving, and would require the construction of a new transmission line connecting Aroostook County to the southern Maine grid.

The projects picked up key support Dec. 30, when the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources agreed to contract for up to 40% of the power, and 40% of the transmission line payments.

Dan Burgess, director of the Governor's Energy Office, says the proposed 1,000-megawatt wind farm would roughly double the wind power produced in Maine. He says the state aims to get 80% of its power from renewable sources by 2030.

"This project, and others, will help ensure that Maine meets our targets, that the region can reduce our dependence on natural gas, and provide economic benefits to the state," Burgess says.

Maine's Public Utilities Commission gave the projects initial approval in October. Longroad hopes to begin delivering power by 2028.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.