New Report: The Economic Impact of Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

The Economic Impact of Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

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  • The Maine RPS law will raise the cost of electricity by $145 million for the state’s consumers in 2017, within a low-range estimate of $120 million and a high-range estimate of $175 million
  • Maine’s electricity prices will rise by 8 percent by 2017, due to the RPS law.

Read the full release here.

Download the PDF of the full report here:


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Comment by Long Islander on September 27, 2012 at 6:11pm

How the Recent Federal Wind Ruling Will Affect You  

By GetPluggedIn Staff

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently ruled in favor of developers regarding whether Idaho Power can limit the amount of wind energy we purchase during light-load hours.

This has generated considerable media attention and a lot of questions from our customers. Here’s some background and some answers – and a promise that Idaho Power will continue to advocate for customers when it comes to keeping electricity prices among the lowest in the nation.

How did this all start?

The 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) requires Idaho Power to buy power from wind farms and certain other renewable-energy facilities, regardless of whether the energy is needed.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is currently examining several issues related to how PURPA is implemented in Idaho. One of those issues is a “curtailment schedule” proposed by Idaho Power.

What’s a curtailment schedule?

During periods when demand on our system is low, and the amount of wind energy being produced is high, we sometimes must back down our coal plants in order to make room for the oncoming rush of wind energy. When the wind dies down or demand increases (or both), those coal plants have to ramp up again. That can create operational expenses beyond the cost of the electricity, and those costs impact customer rates.

Our proposal would allow us to limit the output from PURPA projects during specific circumstances to prevent unnecessary energy costs that ultimately would be paid by our customers.

How this harms customers

While PURPA’s intent is to ensure market access for small power producers, it also promises to hold customers neutral in terms of price. Idaho Power is focused on keeping rates low, but the FERC’s order ignores that requirement.

That’s why we believe FERC’s order is contrary to the interests of Idaho citizens and harmful to our customers.  The order addresses open issues that are before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for determination. Idaho Power is preparing to challenge the order in order to continue providing safe, reliable, fair-priced electricity to our customers.

Our stance on wind

It’s important to understand that Idaho Power is not against wind energy. In fact, the first major wind project to come onto our Idaho Power’s system, the Elkhorn Valley Wind Farm, was initiated by Idaho Power.

But in the span of a few short years, more than 600 megawatts of wind power has been added to our system. As such, we are well positioned to speak to wind’s attributes and its shortcomings. Contrary to a wind industry spokesman’s recent comments in The Idaho Statesman, wind output does not change “slowly and predictably.” In fact, a chart on our website illustrates how wind output can change dramatically and drop off precipitously, often within the span of a single hour. Wind’s erratic nature demands that other resources be in place to ensure the reliability of the power grid.

At Idaho Power, we advocate for any and all generation resources that are reliable and fair-priced. Currently, wind power doesn’t meet those criteria.

Comment by Norman Mitchell on September 27, 2012 at 6:03pm

WOW !!!!

Comment by freemont tibbetts on September 27, 2012 at 5:55pm

 Like I have said before, it takes time to learn the True Facts on Wind Power. It takes a lot more time to to learn the True Facts on Wind Power when our Government is involved. I sure hope they find the  True Facts out for it"s to late.               Freemont Tibbetts 37, Bruce Tibbetts Dr , Dixfield Maine.    

Comment by alice mckay barnett on September 27, 2012 at 3:58pm

Who knows how to draft a petition for a statewide ban on these things?  We need to rally the whole state.

Comment by Monique Aniel Thurston on September 27, 2012 at 3:41pm

In  an  interview with  www.windpoweringamerica  ,  Angus  KIng said  the following  when  asked why he  became  a  wind  power  entrepreneur :

  What inspired you to go into wind development after leaving office?

A. My friend Rob Gardiner and I had been talking about going into wind  development for more than a year. There are three main reasons. First of all, it  is an interesting business opportunity that will hopefully be profitable. I  enjoy business, and energy is a business that I know. Second, this endeavor has  important long-term benefits for Maine in stabilizing electricity prices and  decreasing the state's dependence on volatile fossil fuel supplies and prices.  Last, I like the idea of trying to DO something about climate change. This is an  opportunity to try to solve, rather than just talk about solving, problems. My  feeling about Maine is that we have to take advantage of the assets that we  have. There are a lot of things we don't have, but we do have wind, we have the  Gulf of Maine, water supply, and forests. We need to play with the hand we were  dealt, work with the assets that we have, and Maine has the most wind potential  in New England."

One  statement was  correct ,  he  did  make  a  profit .

one  statement was  wrong ; wind  power  would  not  stabilize electricity  prices....but  he  did  sign  the RPS  into  law .


Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on September 27, 2012 at 3:19pm

when oh when will people get it?

Comment by Barry @ SaveOurSeaShore on September 27, 2012 at 2:20pm

It is going to go a lot more than that. We have had a record crash in Nat. Gas prices...get ready to hold onto your hat once that turns around....your electric is going up big. Also as more wind comes on line...then you have to pay more to keep Nat Gas plants that can operate at the drop of wind, because the less they are used the less cost recovery... The recipe is going to be pretty sour...also wind generators fail after about 8 years requiring full all those new wind turbines are going to cost more!


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 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?" 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.”

Not yet a member?

Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

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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."

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