Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Maine

Offshore wind project hits rough water in New England

The disagreement over Vineyard Wind’s waiver concerns a technicality in New England’s power markets. The company requested an exemption that would have allowed it to bypass a minimum offer price on subsidized energy resources that participate in the grid operator’s annual markets for reserve power. FERC agreed to a fix proposed by ISO New England that would allow Vineyard Wind to qualify for the exemption in the coming years.
7 Feb 2019

LePage vetoes solar energy bill after compromise talks fail

“I tried to negotiate in good faith with Democrats to reach a compromise that would not add to the burden of ratepayers,” LePage wrote. “I requested that the bill include all renewables, return all renewable energy credits (RECs) to ratepayers and have a cap on the price we pay in long-term contracts. We could not reach an agreement. They are not serious about reducing the price of energy for Maine families or job creators.”
28 Apr 2016

The Good, Bad and Ugly on Maine Energy

Pennies on the dollar are what some legislative policies cost the average ratepayer. Most people don’t worry about those pennies, but I am not one of those people. I believe that if you watch your pennies, they add up to dimes and eventually to dollars. Those pennies have added up, resulting in Maine having one of the highest electric rates in the country. The last two bills we worked on this year are classic examples of policies that, although well-intentioned, are costly and will likely do nothing to lower energy costs, never mind decrease our tax burden.
25 Apr 2016

It’s time for Congress to end the wind production tax credit (again)

The production tax credit has rarely been considered in the House or Senate as a stand-alone vote. The last time was 2012, in New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s amendment to the transportation bill. It failed. If the Senate and House consider the wind production tax credit in the eleventh hour (again) this year, it must be as a stand-alone vote in each chamber. That way, the wind lobby cannot gain a free ride by attaching to the more beneficial tax credits seen as “must pass.”
12 Nov 2015

Baker all-of-the-above on energy; Aides say he favors new gas pipeline, hydro, and clean energy

She said the cost of one form of subsidy, called net metering, is expected to double in National Grid’s service area from $35 million in 2014 to $71 million this year. She said the cost of solar renewable energy credits is expected to rise from $59 million in 2015 to $228 million this year. She estimated the cost of solar subsidies will be borne by the utility’s non-solar customers over the next six years to the tune of $2 billion.
16 Apr 2015

Somerset County approves wind farm TIF district

Karen Bessey Pease, a resident of Lexington Township, urged commissioners to reject the TIF proposal, saying that First Wind had already proved their financial capacity to the state and that there was no need to return taxpayer money to the company. “I realize that First Wind has received their permit to build the Bingham Wind Project, but as a resident and taxpayer in the unorganized territory, I would prefer that you don’t return any money to this developer.” 
23 Dec 2014

Somerset County to decide on TIF for Bingham Wind Project

“If we don’t have a TIF, the state would tax the project and the property and use that money for the state,” said Lloyd Trafton, the county commissioner who represents the unorganized territories. “With the TIF, the state still collects the tax, but they have to return it to Somerset County.” Creation of the district would be subject to approval by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
17 Dec 2014

Maine Voices: LePage is right – wind farm subsidies are poor use of government funding

And now with Maine’s southern neighbors halting industrial wind in their states, they’re paying to build thousands of turbines in Maine, to devastate every magnificent Maine ridge, pinnacle and mountain with howling machines more than 50 stories high, some so tall they’ll be the third-tallest structures in New England.
28 Jan 2014

Regulators approve Maine wind contract but say Connecticut to miss out on some benefits

"The environmental effects … will primarily accrue to the citizens of sparsely populated Aroostook County, certain parts of Canada's Maritime Provinces, and the Atlantic Ocean," regulators said in their decision to approve the contracts. On the electricity from Maine: "Because of transmission limitations, it appears that the electricity generated by this project will remain exclusively or largely in Maine and not be delivered to Connecticut or elsewhere outside of Maine," regulators said.
24 Oct 2013

UMaine wind plan should be open to public scrutiny

When a proposal to get the state's electric ratepayers to pay higher-than-market prices for power from an experimental offshore wind project comes sealed from public view, it's natural to wonder why. That the proposal comes from a partnership involving the University of Maine, a taxpayer-funded institution, makes it even more curious. The public deserves to know what it may be buying, and competitors need to know that the process is fair.
8 Sep 2013

Wind industry: Tax breaks key

Maine's six major wind-energy projects are generating power at about a quarter of their capacity -- a performance level that illustrates why wind-power developers are pushing Congress to extend the tax breaks that are critical to the industry's survival. While that power output may seem low, it reflects regional wind conditions and technology limitations.
31 Dec 2012

King defends former project from GOP attack

In the case of Record Hill, the report says, the turbine technology used by the company wasn't truly innovative -- and thus did not meet one of the criteria for obtaining a loan guarantee. The report also said that other investment by the wealthy Yale University Endowment meant a federal loan guarantee really wasn't needed.
1 Apr 2012

Freedom turbines not as valuable as originally thought; Town grants abatement; bump in school assessment looms

The effect of the turbines on EPS meant that the full extent of the tax break from the Beaver Ridge development would last only until the state assessments caught up. After that, Freedom would most likely be asked to shoulder a larger portion of the local school district's operating costs, cutting into the tax break for residents.
19 Jan 2012

Mandates on renewable power raised prices

The Maine Public Utility Commission's analysis showed that the first two years of the increased renewable energy mandate added $7 million to Maine ratepayer's electric bills. Rather than continue the automatic increases to the renewable energy source mandate, we think there is a better approach by allowing consumer choice while still supporting renewable energy development.
21 May 2011
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