David Littell staying on at PUC after term expires until replacement starts

David Littell said he wants to continue participating in cases involving wind power contracts........ By law, commissioners can remain on the job after their term has ended, if a new commissioner hasn’t been nominated and confirmed by the Legislature.


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Comment by Dan McKay on March 26, 2015 at 9:55am

The REC market is a "speculative " market with the only attachment to the electric market is the proceeds go to "renewable generator owners " and speculators.  It  has the designed affect of incentivizing further development of renewable resources in New England to the extent the prices stay high and, then, further development is not a New England area guarantee. Many of these companies build throughout the nation.

Maine has a 100 megawatt limit on all renewables but wind and other New England States also have similar restrictions in their RPS. Maine wind plant owners have great desire for Massachusetts and Connecticut RECs and our RPS favors them over other resources and this becomes detrimental to our biomass and small hydro resources whose output is destined to be replaced with wind. Despite low REC prices in Maine, our biomass and small hydro continue to operate, indicating REC prices are relatively irrelevant to them, but not to wind. 

Eliminating restrictions on other "carbon-free" generators is only common sense, allowing all renewables to compete in a fair market, bringing down REC prices, which lowers rates to consumers.  The problem is, we, in Maine can not control eligibility requirements for renewables in other States.

Comment by Kathy Sherman on March 26, 2015 at 9:45am
Yes, I hope there is a ton of hesitation. Even long-term contracts for most of the output were not enough to keep Cape Wind alive and I am banking on only Texas projects gaining from the extension of the PTC to '16, not just because of whatever financing they have, but because they have the land and wind speed, as well as the grid operators to know the limits. They aren't number 25 or number 35 in wind resource, and what they have is not confined to ridgetop and coastline.
Comment by Kathy Sherman on March 26, 2015 at 9:35am
Actually I think the spot market for Mass RECs (i.e., 'environmental attributes') does not favor wind, and does support a lot of New York and Maine generation of other varieties. Still the major point that the sale out-of-state distorts accounting within state for Maine (or VT) holds. My point that New Engl. generation mix has changed so much that the very concept of REC value is extremely different than what it should be, and it remains based on pre-08 - both recession and legislation in MA that heightened aggression of goals and veered mentality from distributed generation for on-site/behind meter to hugely subsidized by net-metering credits, expanded solar and production for the grid and replacing those nukes and coal or oil plants. That's in so far as their is 'mentality' involved. We know some of the spot market from NEPOOL, and we should know the consumption from things like the obligatory disclosures MA suppliers are required to provide, but I don't think that we know who might buy long-term contracts for the RECs or even why. We know that the agency, quasi-public funded by the 'systems benefit' surcharge to Mass Renewable Energy Trust (MA Technology Collaborative, now Mass Clean Energy Center) bought REC futures - in '03 they were offerred to the two largest wind projects in MA that were eventually built and to some out-of-state projects too. The deals were still offerred to finance design & construct post-2010, but this is all very opaque. That MRET also financed some of the Maine wind maps - see Vinalhaven feasibility. CT clean energy council did too, and CCEC actually seems to have set its eyes on the site in MA where Iberdola built Hosaac Wind eventually, with tons of state interference. So I don't know if those agencies continued in other ways, but I do think that there has been tremendous market manipulation of the REC as a commodity that has no physical value. As strongly as there is justified anger about MA's RPS and impact on other states, i.e. Maine, we need to remember that most of our air pollution is coming from transportation and fossil generators south and west of us all - and from Asia.
Comment by Dan McKay on March 26, 2015 at 8:25am

On the positive side. If Littell hasn't got the big job offer from a wind developer yet, maybe there is hesitation in the industry.  He cites Jeremy Payne and NRCM as creditable resources for establishing contracts with wind plant owners. Signing a contract with a wind plant owner that transfers it's renewable attribute out of state is no more than showing government favoritism to one generator over another and sidestepping the competitive wholesale market, which is set up to establish the lowest possible price of electricity. Plain and simple, wind plant generation with the renewable attribute peeled away is no different than electricity produced by any other generator, therefore it should be subject to wholesale market principles like all others.

Comment by Kathy Sherman on March 26, 2015 at 5:09am
Talk about an expedited, emergency act needed by gov and legislators.

I know that he did correct Dora about the NOx and SOx savings of wind generation back in the day when she was frantic to suppress the impacts of Mars Hill and he was at environmental protection. Has he ever questioned anything wind-related at PUC? Is he on RGGI board?

I know Kurt Adams didn't get off PUC fast enough when he had his next job lined up. However, is there a precedent for not resigning and making this a fight?

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."



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


(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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