New Projects, Wind

Maine DEP: First Wind needs to show financial records

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is ordering First Wind to prove that it has enough money to build four wind power projects.

The request comes after a Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) should not have approved a joint venture between First Wind and Emera Inc.

Applicants for wind-energy projects must show that they have the finances to construct, maintain, and restore sites when wind farms go offline, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. DEP said that performance bonds, surety bonds, a letter of credit or other financial assurance are acceptable forms of proof.

The order can affects four wind-energy projects: Oakfield Wind in Aroostook County, Hancock Wind in Hancock County, Bingham Wind in Somerset County, and Bowers Wind in Penobscot and Washington counties. Collectively, the projects are expected to cost nearly $1 billion to build.

In March, First Wind said it was seeking an additional $75 million through bond offerings. DEP still asks First Wind to provide additional documents describing how the project’s construction would be financed without Emera’s contributions.

First Wind recently posted a restoration letter of credit to the DEP, stating that the developer will restore the site if the project isn’t completed.