Getting Green Power from Maine's Electricity Grid

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Welcome to Maine’s conversation about how we can buy renewably-produced electricity from the existing delivery infrastructure that we fondly call, “the grid”.

Ever since Mainers have been able to choose where the supply of their electric power comes from, we have had the choice between what is called the “standard offer” by most electric power companies such as CMP and Bangor Hydro and some other supply options, including hydropower and wind power. The companies who bill us for our electricity deliver the power over their transmission line network (and repair it when storms damage it), but they buy our power from any supplier we ask them to, as long as it is accessible to them.

When we say we are buying green power from the grid, it just means that we have told our electric company to buy as much power from renewable sources as we are using. We can also buy carbon offsets, also called renewable energy credits, which tell the power company to buy so many dollars worth of renewably-generated electricity and feed it into the grid.

I found a green power supplier called Maine Renewable Energy, LLC through Maine Interfaith Power & Light, and am buying a mixture of wind- and hydro-generated power from them, delivered by CMP. I hear though, that this supplier is not taking on any new customers at this time, because CMP has begun to offer a “green” (renewably-produced) power supply of their own. Watch for more news about this soon.

One place to find out more information about our electricity supply options is the Office of the Public Advocate . They even publish a free newsletter.

The Public Utilities Commission lists 30 pages worth of suppliers of electricity on its web page here:

We invite all of Maine’s experts on green power from the grid to offer and exchange ideas here for the benefit of all Mainers. Our electricity landscape is changing quickly, so please check back here often to follow the conversation.