5 major transmission, hydro and wind partners bid into Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP

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BOSTON -- The race is on between major clean energy developers hoping to score long-term, wholesale power contracts with Massachusetts electric utilities.

By Thursday's noon deadline, thick packets were delivered to the state's Department of Energy Resources by at least five partnerships proposing massive, utility-scale renewable energy projects to serve customers in the Bay State.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, or request for proposals, was drafted last year in response to Gov. Charlie Baker's 2016 energy bill. The bill requires that the utilities procure around 9,450,000 megawatt-hours of wind, solar, hydro or energy storage -- so-called "Class I renewables" -- to meet the state's clean energy goals.

National Grid, Eversource and Unitil collectively requested proposals in March. After a competitive evaluation process, the winners will gain 20-year contracts to supply power, transmission, or clean power credits to serve the state's utilities and ratepayers.

Five partnerships made public announcements Thursday, and described their plans.

* Central Maine Power and Avangrid, its corporate parent, submitted two transmission proposals.

New England Clean Energy Connect would carry power from Hydro-Quebec dams to the New England grid. The high-voltage, 1,200-megawatt transmission line would run 145 miles from the Canadian border to a substation in Lewiston, Maine.

Rebecca Rutenberg