Governor Mills, instead of your staff approaching the cost of energy problem with more handouts, the people of Maine want systemic reform which begins with the immediate moratorium on "power purchase agreements", an out-of-market Ponzi scheme. The PUC is in the midst of developing a term sheet to burden Maine ratepayers with the $1.8 billion transmission line originating in Aroostook County and slicing and dicing its way through the length of Maine. Immediately halt this boondoggle. A 152-megawatt solar plant is about to start construction in Central Maine with a power purchase agreement that rewards the developer, the purchaser and corporations in New England while the ratepayers will continue to see ghastly electric bills. Immediately stop this grid manipulating monster.
Net Energy Billing, which is on its way to replace 20% of generation plant output in Maine at several million dollars of costs to ratepayers. Immediately, Repeal This Farce
Install immediate moratoriums on all wind and solar projects that affect the rate base.
Replace the Public Advocate, Dismantle the Governor's Energy Office. These have become politically biased against the people.
Now, for some real systemic changes to reverse the curse:
1. Stop the foolishness of the CMP hater, Seth Berry's crusade of a takeover of Maine's biggest utilities which would only give the likes of Berry the power to cram wind and solar projects all over Maine without consideration to ratepayer costs. It would also require a ratepayer loan payback of several billion dollars for several decades.
2. Take over the oil-fired plant in Yarmouth, a 865-megawatt generator, which can deliver on demand, especially during peak blackout hours. This plant has more value than all the wind and solar projects in Maine and can run when wind and solar can't. 865 Megawatts is more than half of Maine's average hourly demand and nearly 45% of Maine's peak hourly demand.
3.Approve NECEC! 1200 megawatts of baseload power. It has no emission effect within the borders of Maine. It is half the cost of natural gas fired electricity. This political hot potato defies common sense.
4. Approach Massachusetts about taking over the contract they negotiated with Hydro-Quebec. It would lower prices while outcompeting the natural gas plants in Maine, probably bringing forward their demise and instantly enabling the emission reduction goals so treasured by the Maine Government.
5. Get out of ISO-NE, a captive market to natural gas derived electricity. Maine can do without natural gas as long as Maine owns the 865-megawatt oil- fired plant in Yarmouth, operating frugally for reliability purposes and the 1200-megawatt NECEC line output is under Maine ratepayer control. We have never-ending biomass resources; Reliable generation is within reach. The deployment, the favoritism, the subsidization of grid manipulating renewables and natural gas must come to an end and our Maine grid must be righted so Mainers can be comfortable about their energy situation.
Governor, if ever there was a time during your stewardess to provide practical solutions to a problem that seems to be beyond the legislature's skill set, it is right now. Your legacy is at stake and so is Maines.