Don't expect your power lines to turn green from the green electrons running through them.  But the more home-grown renewable power we can feed into the grid, the less natural gas we'll be importing.

Green Grid Power Posts

Maine's Conversation About Green Power From the Grid

"The Grid"  is the network of power lines that transport and deliver electricity to most of our homes and businesses. We can buy the standard offer energy supply, which comes mostly from natural gas, or we can buy energy made from renewable sources. We welcome your questions and answers about green grid power and the smart grid here.  Join the conversation today and check back here often!

osprey nest atop power grid poles

 
 

Green Grid Power Blog Posts

03/12/2017 - 1:28pm

A solar eruptive prominence as seen in extreme UV light on March 30 2010 with Earth superimposed for a sense of scale image Credit to NASA and SDOYou may have heard of solar storms in earth science or geophysics classes in school, right?

03/11/2017 - 5:45pm

On March 3, 2017, the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine hosted a forum in Augusta, entitled, “Playing Matchmaker- Aligning Energy Challenges with Compatible Policies”. The forum addressed the following questions: What are the most important energy challenges facing the State of Maine?

02/26/2017 - 5:47pm

EPA Green Power Partnership logo courtesy of EPAThe US-EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use gree

02/05/2017 - 6:12pm

Laney Brown, VP of Grid Modernization Strategy from Modern Grid Partners photo by Kay MannThe sixth annual Efficiency Maine Symposium had a very long name this year: “modernization of the electricity grid and opportunities for distributed energy resources”.

02/04/2017 - 9:22pm

smart meter photo by Kay MannOn January 31, 2017, the Maine Public Utilities Commission issued a decision on proposed rule changes regarding customer net energy billing. The following information comes from the MPUC’s press release on the announcement.

01/09/2017 - 9:43pm

To start with, grab your GMO-free, organic popcorn and watch this video from US-DOE about the potential for development in one of Maine's strongest historical energy resources: biomass.

12/11/2016 - 4:42pm

 Dan Bosley the Government Relations Executive for the Northeast Clean Energy Council speaks on a panel about New Englands Wholesale Electricity markets as John Carroll of Avangrid and Brian Foresaw listen photo by Kay MannOn November 17, 2016, the Environmental and Ener

12/11/2016 - 12:56pm

Nathan Smith Darrell Henry Jason Smith and David Meyer speak on energy policy panel at E2Tech Expo 2016 photo by Kay MannOn November 17, 2016, E2Tech hosted its second annual expo at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

11/13/2016 - 1:23pm

Image from 2015 E2Tech Expo courtesy of E2TechThe second annual E2TECH EXPO on November 17 will be the premier energy event of the year! The U.S.

Green Grid Power News

Grid-Scale Energy Storage Grows in Maine
01/08/2017 - 4:05pm

Convergents grid scale energy storage units in Boothbay Maine image courtesy of Convergent Energy and PowerFollowing on a pilot energy storage system built in Boothbay in 2015 (pictured), NextEra Energy Resources, operator of the Wyman Station oil-fired power plant on Cousin’s Island in Yarmouth has installed a giant battery the size of 8 shipping containers in a warehouse on the site. The facility has a storage capacity of 16.2 megawatts of power, the largest in New England and a significant percentage of the 30-100 MW needed to meet New England’s power needs on a given day.

Battery storage is hailed as a “non-transmission alternative” way to even out the highs and lows of both energy demand and the intermittent power supply from renewable sources like solar and wind power. Ellen Foley of ISO-New England is quoted as saying, “The role of grid-scale electricity storage will grow as the region moves closer to its clean-energy goals, while maintaining a reliable power system.”

Read it all in the Press Herald.

Image: Convergent's grid scale energy storage units in Boothbay Maine, courtesy of Convergent Energy and Power.

5-Megawatt Solar Farm Comes Online in Madison
01/08/2017 - 2:21pm

grid-scale solar image courtesy of NREL.On December 29, 2016, Madison Electric Works announced that its municipally-owned solar farm is ready to start powering homes and businesses. The project in Somerset County, being called the largest in Maine, was built and is owned by Ohio-based IGS Solar. ISG will sell the power to MEW at 7.99 cents per kWh for the first six years, at which time the utility may decide to buy the plant.

Madison Electric Works is a department of the Town of Madison, serving electric customers in the downtown area, Madison Business Gateway, and Backyard Farms. It is a Member of North East Public Power Association (NEPPA).

Read it all in the Morning Sentinel.

Grid-scale solar image courtesy of NREL.

MPUC Defers Decision on Net Metering Rule Changes
01/08/2017 - 1:51pm

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities CommissionOn December 19, 2016, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced a delay in handing down a decision about a controversial set of proposed rule changes to Maine’s net metering law.

Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy was quoted as saying, ”This is an important rule and more time is needed to consider the proposed rule in light of the comments we received to ensure that the rule treats all ratepayers in a fair manner. It remains clear that changes in technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar photo-voltaic, require a careful review of the current rule and potential modifications."

The 128th Maine Legislature, which has just opened it 2017 session, will also be considering changes to net metering laws.

Read more in Mainebiz and read the announcement on the MPUC website.

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Lawmakers Uphold LePage's Veto of Solar Bill
05/09/2016 - 1:42pm

Solar panels Image courtesy of humble Farmer.On April 28, 2016, the Maine House voted to uphold Governor LePage’s veto of L.D. 1649, “An Act To Modernize Maine's Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development,” which would have made comprehensive changes to the solar industry in the state. 

LePage’s veto came from his belief that the bill would have raised energy prices on all ratepayers in the state. LePage stated that the bill would increase the costs of doing business in Maine as well as for homes and businesses that cannot afford solar panels “by tens of millions of dollars – picking winners and losers in Maine’s energy mix.” The bill would have increased rates around the fourth year of its plan, adding about 31 cents to the average homeowner’s electric bill, but it also would have drastically increased access to community solar farms, which benefits ratepayers who could not otherwise afford to install solar systems. Read University of Maine economics professor Sharon Klein’s explanation here.

The bill failed by just two votes to achieve a two-thirds majority needed to overturn the veto, losing 96-52. When Democratic leaders brought the bill back for a second vote, it lost again 93-50. Republican lawmakers, Michael Timmons of Cumberland, Brian Hobart of Bowdoinham, MaryAnn Kinney of Knox and John Pichiottti of Fairfield, were accused of “taking a walk” when they voted to override the governor the first time and then failed to vote in the bill’s subsequent appearance.

To read more about this issue, see the Portland Press Herald’s coverage here.

Image courtesy of humble Farmer.

Maine Governor Signs Biomass Bailout Bill
05/07/2016 - 5:14pm

biomass hopper at Colby College image courtesy of Colby CollegeOn April 16, 2016, Maine’s Governor signed a $13.5 million biomass bailout bill, LD 1676: “An Act To Establish a Process for the Procurement of Biomass Resources”, into law after it passed both houses on April 15.

The bill would authorize the Maine Public Utilities Commission to purchase up to 80 MW of power from Maine’s remaining biomass energy plants at above-market prices over two years in order to shore up demand. Funding for these purchases would come from the state’s “Rainy Day Fund” of surplus tax revenues, rather than from an increase in electricity rates, as originally proposed.

Supporters see the bill as essential to the preservation of over 1,000  jobs in the logging and biomass industries. Opponents see the bill as “corporate welfare” which will benefit JD Irving and biomass plant owner ReEnergy Holdings, with no guarantee that the plants will remain open.

Read more in the Bangor Daily News and listen to the story on MPBN.

Green Grid Power Job and RFP Posts

08/02/2020 - 1:00am

Non-solar bids offered with nameplate capacity of 10 MW or less may be accepted for consideration at any time for evaluation. Interested parties should consult the RFP package below, complete the non-solar bid forms, and provide required documents for consideration.

12/31/2020 - 11:00pm

Green States Energy is offering up to 7,100 megawatt-hours per year of solar energy and/or the PJM-GATS or M-RETS registered solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). The SRECs originate from two separate projects that meet Ohio Alternative Energy Resource Standard and S.B. 221 requirements.