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Maine offshore wind contract could increase rates, lawyer says | Maine News

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine official responsible for representing the interests of utility consumers has expressed concern that an offshore wind power supply contract could increase residents’ power bills.

Developers of the Offshore Wind Research Network want Maine to approve a 20-year electricity supply contract. Proponents of the proposal have described it as integral to Maine’s renewable energy goals.

Public attorney William Harwood said this week that the contract could increase bills if the price offered was much higher than wholesale market rates, the Portland Press Herald reported on Wednesday.

Details of the contract are not yet made public. The developers of the project could potentially build it by 2028.

Pine Tree Offshore Wind filed documents on the project last month. This group is a subsidiary of New England Aqua Ventus, which is building a demonstration turbine off Maine that could power 5,000 Maine homes a year.

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Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ administration is also working with the University of Maine and New England’s Aqua Ventus on a research array that could hold 10 offshore wind turbines. Maine lobster fishermen have expressed concern that the project could disrupt their industry.

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