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Onshore Wind

First Wind gets $76 million for their fifth Maine wind farm

United States wind company First Wind is set to begin construction on their fifth wind project in the state of Maine, the 34-megawatt Bull Hill Wind, after getting hold of $76 million in construction financing.

A subsidiary of First Wind closed the $70 million non-recourse construction loan and $6 million in letters of credit for the project.

Bull Hill Wind will install 19 Vestas wind turbines on Bull Hill and Heifer Hill ridges in Hancock County, Maine. Installation is expected to take place during the summer of 2012, and the project is expected to be online by yearend.

The output of the project will be sold to NSTAR under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Bull Hill will create at least 200 construction jobs, with Maine-based contractor Reed & Reed hiring local businesses and subcontractors.

The surrounding communities in Eastbrook and Hancock County will also be receiving revenue from the project through an average aggregate tax payment of approximately $100,000 annually for the next 20 years and an additional $240,000 annually in community benefit payments.

According to Paul Gaynor, First Wind chief executive, the Bull Hill Wind Project will boost their capacity to generate power in Maine to nearly 220 MW.

First Wind has four other wind projects producing electricity in Maine, including the 42-MW Mars Hill Wind project in Aroostook County, the 60-MW Rollins Wind Project in Penobscot County and the 57-MW Stetson Wind and 26-MW Stetson Wind II in Washington County.

The four installations generate power for about 85,000 households with the Bull Hill project expected to supply power for another 18,000 homes.

Boston-based First Wind has projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawaii for a generation capacity of 750 MW plus an additional 230 MW currently under construction. Last month they completed construction financing for what is said to be Hawaii's largest wind project, the 69-MW Kawailoa Wind.

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