Library filed under Energy Policy from Maine

New England business groups make case to suspend energy efficiency surcharges

The business groups argue that halting the surcharges would provide some rate relief to both commercial and residential customers at a time when many are having financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. “We’re not looking to decimate these programs, but we are saying, ‘We’ve got to take a breather,’” said Doug Gablinske, executive director of the Energy Council of Rhode Island, which represents large energy users.
9 Jun 2020

Bills to energize renewable-power development in Maine go to governor

Despite earlier opposition, the RPS bill won support from industrial power customers, following an amendment that allows them to opt out of the requirement. Paper mills and other large, energy-intensive manufacturers had warned at a hearing last month that increasing the renewable portfolio standard could lead to higher costs for them and threaten their ability to compete.
20 Jun 2019

Lawmakers hear debate that shows sharp divide over renewable-energy bill

A bill that would mandate an increase in the amount of electricity coming from renewable sources to Maine consumers received mixed reviews Tuesday in a legislative committee, with business interests split on the cost and benefits of the mandate ...At issue is an energy policy called the Renewable Portfolio Standard which, under the bill, will increase the mix of new renewable energy sources used to supply electricity to Mainers from 10 percent to 50 percent by 2030.
8 May 2019

Maine’s wind farm moratorium is over, but how long will ‘chilling effect’ last?

While developers have applied for space on the regional grid’s interconnection queue, further development will depend on regional activities. Massachusetts, the biggest destination for clean energy, has mandated aggressive targets for clean energy and called for projects throughout the region. It mostly has been preoccupied with offshore wind and eventually, Canadian hydropower.
3 Apr 2019

Market forces buffeting future of wind power in Maine

As the Maine Wind Energy Act enters a second decade, developers say the state is unlikely to see strings of new turbine towers on the horizon, as market forces overtake policy directives. In 2018, only a 22-turbine wind farm in Hancock County and a four-turbine project in Oxford County have active permit applications. There are several reasons why.
4 Nov 2018

Cold snap tested reliability of region’s power grid and arguments against fossil fuels

In other instances, the region’s growing fleet of wind and solar energy generators might have been able to help. But data gathered by ISO-NE found that snow and clouds during the period limited solar output to a small fraction of its potential. Generation from wind farms, too, was variable in the fast-changing weather conditions. At times, wind farms also were unable to feed power to the grid because of transmission-line congestion.
20 May 2018

Maine House stalls LePage’s effort to block wind energy development

LD 1810 would shrink the area where wind developments are eligible for Maine’s abbreviated permitting process and ramp up requirements for projects that would still qualify. Following a series of procedural motions and votes Thursday in the House of Representatives, the bill is in danger of dying because of a disagreement with the Senate over which legislative committee should handle the bill.
2 Mar 2018

Transmission Developers Pitch Mass. Clean Energy Bids

Representatives of five transmission projects proposed in July in response to the Massachusetts solicitation for 9.45 TWh/year of hydro and Class I renewables (wind, solar or energy storage) tried to explain why their projects should be among those selected in January. Contracts awarded under the MA 83D request for proposals are to be submitted in late April.
10 Oct 2017

Should Northern New England host Massachusetts' renewable energy extension cord?

Ap_17103706112485-1000x611_thumb Evans-Brown says opponents want to know why their scenery should become the pass-through for Massachusetts' electricity needs, "people who have businesses that would be impacted by the construction, and who believe they're business depends on tourists coming up to visit. There's a very famous pancake parlor that the owner came and gave very impassioned testimony."
7 Aug 2017

Bill could scuttle UMaine offshore wind project near Monhegan

A spokesman for a group of island residents behind the bill said the university is responsible for the crisis by changing the scope of the project. What started in 2009 as a scaled-down, temporary experiment has grown to a 20-year, full-scale project with blades that would reach 576 feet above the waterline and an undersea cable to the mainland, at Port Clyde. A project that size, said Travis Dow of Protect Monhegan, can’t help but impact the view for tourists and artists, who drive the island’s summer economy, and the experience for birders, who flock in spring and fall for annual migrations.
8 Apr 2017

Value of quasi-state electricity program called into question

Martin’s 2013 examination of MPO, kept secret for three years under a legal exception to the state’s open records act, revealed that the program maintained almost no records, making it impossible for Martin to assess its effectiveness in achieving its public mandate: saving money. “The initial response and continued discussions with the staff at Maine PowerOptions were devoid of any metrics or statistics that would help to gauge the effectiveness of the program,” Martin wrote.
10 Jan 2017

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