Leaders of Maine Public Service Co. (MPS), a subsidiary of Maine & Maritimes Corp., and Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of Energy East, have reported on the preliminary conclusions of the Maine Power Connection (MPC) feasibility study.
The MPC study evaluates the feasibility of connecting the MPS system to the rest of the Maine and New England electric grid and to support development of substantial wind energy resources in northern Maine.
MPC is a joint project of MPS and CMP, commenced with a feasibility study in March of 2007 in response to concerns over the lack of electric power competition in northern Maine.
‘Based on the preliminary findings of our feasibility study, we are moving ahead with a more detailed analysis of a possible 345 kV transmission line from Limestone to the Detroit area, where it would connect to the CMP system and the New England grid,’ says Brent Boyles, president and CEO of MPS.
The MPC feasibility study, which is divided into three phases, reached the following preliminary conclusions:
– 138 kV interconnection would be sufficient to connect the existing MPS system with the New England grid at an estimated cost of $40 million;
– the project is not economically feasible if MPS ratepayers fund the project, as the costs outweigh the potential economic benefits to MPS ratepayers;
– MPS currently has transmission interconnection requests for more than 800 MW of potential wind generation projects;
– new transmission capacity will support major wind development in Aroostook County,
– connecting MPS to the New England grid with a 345 kV transmission line will support wind generation projects and will be economically feasible with the participation of the Independent System Operator-New England and its member utilities; and
-a third Canadian interconnect merits further investigation and may provide access to additional renewable energy resources.
CMP and MPS expect to complete the Phase 2 feasibility study by this summer.