3 New England wind farms will launch this year

E&E • Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012

The largest wind farm in Massachusetts will begin operating before the end of the year and will sell power to NStar Inc.

The Blue Sky East project is the first of three wind farms in New England that will create enough power for 50,000 homes. It will likely boost economic activity in the rural area and will act as a source of cheaper electricity for NStar’s customers.

The project will “generate tax revenues for small towns to help keep taxes down and pay for important community priorities,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind — the developer behind Blue Sky East.

The three wind farms will generate electricity in Eastrook, Maine; Groton, N.H.; and the Massachusetts towns of Florida and Monroe. Their 62 turbines in total will help NStar meet the state mandate that utilities use long-term projects to get at least 3 percent of their power from renewable resources.

NStar has signed 10- to 15-year contracts for the wind projects, a move that secures electricity for the customer and lowers the costs of financing the wind farm.

“The long-term contract is really what gives the financial security to the developers to put these projects in place,” said Richard Sullivan, the state’s energy and environmental affairs secretary. “It does show that you can do renewables and be price-conscious at the same time” (Erin Ailworth, Boston Globe, Nov. 14).