Number Nine Wind Farm will have an installed capacity of 350 megawatts (MW) — enough to power approximately 156,000 average Maine homes.
Number Nine Wind Farm will yield significant economic benefits to the state of Maine in the form of payments to landowners, local spending, and annual community investment. The project will also provide Mainers with renewable energy.
Number Nine represents a capital investment of approximately $1.1 billion and will disburse an estimated $228 million in payments to local governments through the life of the project. The project will create up to 1,200 full-time equivalent jobs during construction as well as up to 12 permanent jobs. To date, EDP Renewables has spent more than $30 million on developing the wind farm in Maine, and millions of more dollars will be spent in the state to operate and maintain the wind farm throughout the project’s lifecycle.
The project will also provide significant indirect economic benefits to the region through spending at local businesses for goods, services, supplies, materials, dining, and lodging.
Number Nine Wind Farm will save more than 622 million gallons of water each year and will displace 329,000 tons of carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants, a major contributor to climate change. Wind energy also enhances air quality by helping to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants generated by fossil fuel plants. Maine has committed to an ambitious renewable portfolio standard, utilizing its abundant wind resources and passing on long-term benefits to ratepayers in the process.
Number Nine Wind Farm is compatible with existing land uses such as forestry and recreation and will provide a stable form of income to local landowners. Approximately $1 million will be paid annually to the wind farm’s landowners through the life of the project. These supportive landowners participate in long-term lease and easement agreements that enable wind turbines, access roads, and other electrical infrastructure.
Modern wind turbine generators are sophisticated machines designed to capture the kinetic energy of the wind and convert it into electricity. A turbine’s blades capture the wind and rotate an internal shaft, which spins a generator to produce electricity. Tubular steel towers support a hub with three attached blades and a nacelle, which houses the shaft, generator, and controls. Wind measurements are collected to automatically rotate the turbine to face the strongest wind and angle its blades to maximize energy production.
Number Nine Wind Farm will be located in Aroostook County, an area not currently connected to the U.S. power grid. As a result, the county has historically struggled with high electricity prices and reliability. This issue could potentially be addressed through Number Nine, which will connect to the grid via a new transmission line from the project’s siting in Aroostook County to the town of Pittsfield and would possibly serve ratepayers throughout northern Maine.
This transmission line could be used by future renewable energy projects or to connect communities and industries to the robust and reliable grid serving the greater New England region.