First Wind to Purchase 77 Vestas 100-1.8 MW Wind Turbines

First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, today announced that it has reached agreement with Vestas to purchase 77 V100-1.8 MW turbines to be deployed at projects under development in Maine and in construction in Washington. As First Wind’s first purchase agreement with Vestas, the V100-1.8 MW turbines were selected through a competitive bidding process and represent the best fit given the respective location’s topography and wind conditions.

"We are pleased to diversify our wind turbine portfolio by entering into our first-ever agreement with Vestas to purchase turbines for our projects in Maine and Washington," said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. "At First Wind, we are always looking to build efficient and high-value projects for our stakeholders and consumers, and we believe that these turbines are the best fit for our Bull Hill and Palouse Wind projects. The Vestas turbines for these sites will ultimately mean we can deliver clean energy at a competitive price for our customers."

As part of the purchase agreement with Vestas, First Wind will deploy 19 V100-1.8 MW turbines to First Wind’s proposed 34 MW Bull Hill Wind project on Bull Hill and Heifer Hill in Hancock County, Maine. The Bull Wind project will generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power approximately 15,000 New England (or Maine) homes. The output produced at Bull Hill will be sold to NSTAR via a long-term power purchase agreement which was approved in August 2011.

In addition to the Bull Hill project, 58 V100-1.8 MW turbines will be deployed to the company’s 105 MW Palouse Wind project in Washington. Between State Route 195 and the town of Oakesdale, the Palouse Wind project will be the largest renewable energy facility in Whitman County. Early stages of construction began recently at the project site, including preparing roads and turbine pads.

In June 2011, Avista announced that it had signed a power purchase agreement with First Wind for the Palouse Wind project. The project will have the capacity to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power about 30,000 Northwest homes, equal to the total energy load of all of Whitman County.

Vestas is the world leader in supplying high-tech wind power systems, and a preferred provider of wind turbines, services and solutions in North America. Since 1979, Vestas has an industry-leading installed base of more than 44,000 wind turbines in 67 countries. Vestas, which employs more than 3,000 people in the United States, sold its first wind turbine in North America in 1981 and since has supplied more than 12,000 in North America. Vestas’ North American manufacturing operations are located in Colorado while its technology research centers are in Texas, Massachusetts and Colorado. Vestas’ North American headquarters is located in Portland, Ore., while its global headquarters is in Aarhus, Denmark.

The contracts for both projects include delivery and commissioning along with a 10-year service and maintenance agreement. Deliveries for Palouse and Bull Hill are scheduled for mid-2012, and both projects are expected to be commissioned and operational in late 2012.

First Wind has developed and currently operates wind energy projects in the Northeast, the West and in Hawaii, with total installed capacity of 735 megawatts (MW) and another 141 MW of projects in construction, including the Palouse Wind project.

First Wind is an independent wind energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale wind projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind has wind projects in the Northeast, the West and in Hawaii, with the capacity to generate up to 735 megawatts of power and projects under construction with the capacity to generate up to an additional 141 megawatts.