The Monhegan Community Benefits Advisory Committee (“CBAC”) was established in July 2016 to:
1. Aid in developing a community benefits agreement with Maine Aqua Ventus(“MAV”); and
2. Make recommendations to the Monhegan Board of Assessors on a specific community benefits package and associated agreement with MAV.
The purpose of this Report is therefore to provide CBAC’s written recommendations to the Assessors on a community benefits package and associated agreement with MAV.
The concept of a community benefits package began with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (“Maine PUC”) term sheet for the MAV Project1, which requires MAV to either (i) provide electric energy to Monhegan Plantation Power District (“MPPD”) and a fiber optic cable (the “Cable Option”); or (ii) provide an alternative community benefits package. Both are subject to a “commercially reasonable efforts” standard. Accordingly, discussions/negotiations with MAV focused upon developing term sheets for the Cable Option and an alternative “cash” option, referred to in this Report as the “Fund Option”.
In sum, CBAC recommends that Monhegan adopt the Fund Option, which provides significant monetary resources for Monhegan to sustainably address energy, telecommunication, and overall community needs. The Fund Option is preferable to the Cable Option, which has less flexibility, more risk, and does not have the potential to address Monhegan’s needs as well as the Fund Option. In short, the Fund Option provides Monhegan with the best opportunity to sustain the island’s environmental, economic, and social values on a long-term basis.