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The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has approved 12 long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for onshore wind facilities in New England, representing a total of more than 409 MW of electricity. The weighted average price from the contracts is less than $0.08/kWh.

According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the contracts are between the four Massachusetts electric distribution companies - Unitil, NSTAR Electric, National Grid and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. - and three renewable energy developers - Iberdrola Renewables, Evergreen Wind II and Blue Sky West. The executive office says that the PPAs are for three projects in New Hampshire and Maine that are expected to become operational in 2015 or 2016.

The long-term contracts, the executive office notes, are a result of the joint statewide solicitation issued by the utilities in consultation with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and Department of Energy Resources.

The executive office adds that the PPAs represent approximately 2.5% of each of the utilities' total electricity sales.

"These contracts are an absolute win-win for the Commonwealth and for distribution company customers," says DPU Chair Ann Berwick. "They help the Commonwealth meet its renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction requirements, provide a hedge against volatile natural gas prices, and reduce customers' bills."

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