First Wind Announces Completion of Bull Hill Wind Project and Start of
The company’s fifth wind project in Maine will generate local tax revenues and
cost-competitive clean energy to power 18,000 homes
PORTLAND, Maine -- November 14, 2012
First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, today announced
that construction of its 34 megawatt (MW) Bull Hill Wind project has been
completed and commercial operations have begun. Located on the ridges of Bull
Hill and Heifer Hill in Hancock County, Maine, the project features 19 1.8 MW
wind turbines that have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power
nearly 18,000 homes.
“We are very pleased to complete work on our Bull Hill Wind project, which
represents our fifth project in Maine to achieve commercial operations,” said
Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “It is a testament to our partners across the
state and region, as well as supportive business, citizen and local political
leaders that we have been able to complete this project ahead of schedule. The
Bull Hill Wind project will serve as a source of cost-competitive renewable
energy and a boost to the local economy through tax revenues and ongoing
Now that the project has started operations, Hancock County and Eastbrook will
receive an average aggregate tax payment of approximately $100,000 annually
for the next 20 years and an additional $240,000 annually in community benefit
payments—more than $7 million in total. In addition, First Wind is providing a
public safety communication tower to Hancock County for improved
communications for the safety and rescue departments in the county.
The cost-competitive clean electricity generated by the Bull Hill Wind project
will be sold to NSTAR under a long-term power purchase agreement, which First
Wind won in a competitive solicitation by NSTAR as they were seeking a low
cost source of energy. In August of 2011, NSTAR and First Wind entered into a
15-year fixed-price contract for the output from the project. The cost savings
due to the fixed-price contract are expected to save NSTAR ratepayers about
$57 million over the life of the contract.
“The power from Bull Hill Wind is part of a diverse, responsible energy
portfolio that includes renewable resources generated right here in New
England,” said James Daly, Vice President of Energy Supply at Northeast
Utilities, parent company of NSTAR. “The Bull Hill project will help NSTAR
meet our goal of providing renewable energy to homes and businesses as
outlined by the Massachusetts Green Communities Act. We’re looking forward to
delivering clean, renewable wind energy from this project to our customers for
years to come.”
Construction on the Bull Hill Wind project started earlier this year and
created an average of 200 construction-related jobs while generating
significant revenue for the surrounding communities. Maine-based contractor
Reed & Reed led the construction process and hired mostly Maine-based
businesses and subcontractors to work on the project. In addition, First Wind
worked with its turbine supplier to ensure that the turbine shipments,
including towers, blades and other equipment, went through nearby Searsport to
maximize the economic benefits for the local community.
“Reed & Reed and our team of local subcontractors have worked on all of First
Wind’s projects here in Maine. We are proud and pleased to see Bull Hill
completed and in operation,” said Jack Parker, President and CEO of Reed &
Reed, a heavy construction firm based in Woolwich. “We have seen time and time
again how First Wind projects like Bull Hill positively impact the community
and state. Along with the generation of clean, local energy, these projects
have been among the most notable when it comes to economic development.
Maine’s wind power projects have created hundreds of jobs, provided millions
of dollars for important community projects, and they have directly lowered
property taxes in a number of host communities. Bull Hill is an excellent
example of how a project can support Maine people and local businesses.”
Members of a local ATV club have been highly supportive of the project and are
excited to see the project online.
“First Wind is a new member of our community and we couldn’t be happier,” said
Maurice Sargent, president of the Acadia Area ATV’ers in Ellsworth. “They
worked with us during construction to ensure our ATV trail network maintained
connectivity. They became a business member and have given full support to the
entire outdoor community.”
As part of its community support, First Wind is making a contribution for the
protection of watersheds in Hancock County.
“We’re supportive of the Bull Hill Project and interested in seeing more
renewable energy because it leads to cleaner air and cleaner water,” said
Dwayne Shaw, Executive Director of the Downeast Salmon Federation. “The
contribution this project is providing will help us with our efforts to
preserve and restore Atlantic salmon and wild brook trout in the area.”
The project features 19 Vestas V100-1.8 MW turbines.
“We are thrilled to work with First Wind to finish another clean-energy
project in Maine,” said Christian Venderby, Chief Operating Officer for Vestas
in North America. “Bull Hill is one of nine projects this year in the United
States and Canada using our V100-1.8 MW turbine. These turbines will provide
predictable and pollution-free power for many years.”
In addition to its Bull Hill project, First Wind has four other operational
wind projects in Maine including the 42 MW Mars Hill Wind project in Aroostook
County, the 60 MW Rollins Wind project in Penobscot County, and the 57 MW
Stetson Wind and the 26 MW Stetson Wind II projects, both located in
Washington County. When combined with the Bull Hill Wind project, these five
facilities have capacity to generate 219 MW, enough to supply clean power for
the equivalent of more than 95,000 households. Over $160 million in direct
spending has been invested into Maine-based companies during the development
and construction of these five projects. First Wind has invested another $600
million in wind projects in Maine.
About First Wind
First Wind is an independent wind energy company that develops, finances,
builds and operates utility-scale wind projects in the United States.
Headquartered in Boston, First Wind operates wind projects in the Northeast,
the West and Hawaii, with the capacity to generate up to 875 megawatts of
power and projects under construction with the capacity to generate up to an
additional 105 megawatts. For more information on First Wind, please visit
www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @firstwind.
John Lamontagne, 617-960-9521
First Wind Director, Communications
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.