The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has selected two projects to promote renewable energy development in northern Maine. The first is for the development of a 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to connect renewable energy resources located in northern Maine with the New England grid and the second is a renewable energy generation project to transmit power across that transmission line.
LS Power Base was selected for its transmission project at a cost of $2.88 billion and Longroad Energy's King Pine 1,000 MW wind generation project was chosen resulting in savings of $1.08 billion. Together, the net cost of the two projects is a projected $1.8 billion over a 30-year period. The Commission did not make a final determination as to how much of the cost of the project Maine ratepayers can reasonably absorb but directed Commission staff to look to other states to assess if there are partnerships that could reduce the costs to Maine. The Commission directed staff to provide a report by January 15, 2023, as to the initial determination of regional partnerships, and based on that determination, recommend next steps to advance these projects. The projects selected in the decision were evaluated based on the following requirements and objectives, as required by statute: total cost, value to Maine ratepayers, economic benefits to northern Maine, project viability, technical and financial qualifications of bidders, and land use issues.