BDN - Maine PUC approves rolling back solar credits

AUGUSTA, Maine — It didn’t go far enough for Gov. Paul LePage, but Maine utility regulators rankled advocates on Tuesday when they rolled back a policy allowing homeowners with solar panels to be credited for excess power sold to the grid.

The move was opposed by pro-solar groups, and it’s likely to be followed by another bid in the Maine Legislature to liberalize solar policy........Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, called the commission’s move “a roll-back of the one thing that is sustaining some amount of a solar market in the state.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2017/01/31/news/state/maine-regulators-a...

PPH - Solar installers decry the new PUC rule, foreshadowing a fresh fight in the Legislature.

LePage also is unhappy with the PUC’s action, but for the opposite reason. Noting the state’s above-average electricity prices, LePage issued a statement saying the rule continued to shift the burden onto home customers and businesses that can’t afford it.

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/01/31/puc-strikes-middle-ground-in-...

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Governor LePage issues statement on PUC's decision on net energy billing

For immediate release: January 31, 2017

Contact: Angela Monroe, Governor's Energy Office, angela.monroe@maine.gov

Governor Paul R. LePage issued a statement today about the Public Utilities Commission’s decision about net energy billing, which puts the burden of higher prices on ratepayers who can least afford it.

Under the rule adopted today by the PUC, other electric ratepayers will continue to subsidize net energy billing customers at rates far above market rates for the next 25 years. While it will decrease over time, the adopted rule will keep net metering subsidies for net energy billing through 2042.

“Net energy billing customers should be compensated for the electricity they generate at fair market rates,” said Governor LePage. “Other ratepayers should not be subsidizing those installations to make solar viable. If it cannot stand on its own two feet, they should not have to pay higher rates to some of the more affluent ratepayers.”

“Electricity rates in Maine are already far above the national average--Maine has the 11th highest rates in the United States,” said Governor LePage. “Rates have destroyed our industrial base, our commercial base and, more importantly, are causing higher rates for those who can ill afford it.”

“By continuing to subsidize net energy billing, the PUC continues to shift the burden away from those who choose to install and have the resources to afford roof-top solar installations and onto ratepayers, including low-income and elderly customers, as well as businesses already operating on very thin margins, that cannot afford to pay more than they do now.”

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Comment by Penny Gray on February 1, 2017 at 12:28pm

I wouldn't ask my neighbors to sponsor my solar system.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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