The Pine Tree State Is Moving Toward 100% Renewable Target

State Economy

The population of the “Pine Tree State,” Maine  is approximately 1.37 million people[1]. Maine is the 42nd most populated state in the United States.

In 2021, Maine’s economy was ranked 43rd in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The state’s economy is dependent on the agriculture, fishing, shipbuilding, mining, manufacturing, and tourism industries[3].

Environmental Policies

In 1999, Maine enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard[4] mandating all investor-owned and retail utilities sell 80% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

In 2007, Maine joined Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative[5], a market-based collaborative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Power Generation Capabilities

In July 2022, utilities[6] used renewable energy (60.9 %), natural gas (38.9 %) and coal (0.2 %) to generate electricity in Maine. Hydropower, wind, and biomass are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Maine.

In July 2022, the average cost of residential electricity in Maine was 23.11 ¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 15.46 ¢ per kWh.

Recent renewable energy developments in Maine include:

  • 152 MW Solar Project – Massachusetts renewable energy company, Longroad Energy is continuing work on the Three Corners Solar at a site approximately 10 miles northeast of the state capital, Augusta. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 126 MW Onshore Wind Project – American renewable energy company, Apex Clean Energy is continuing work on the Downeast Wind project at a site approximately 125 miles northeast of Augusta. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 100 MW Solar Projects – In December 2021, American renewable energy company, Acadia Renewable Energy commissioned multiple photovoltaic solar projects across the state.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In December 2020, Florida utility NextEra Energy commissioned the Sanford Airport solar project, which is located approximately 75 miles southwest of Augusta.
  • 5 MW Solar Project – In April 2022, Maryland company, Standard Solar and New York company Acadia Energy commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 200 miles northeast of Augusta.
  • 7 MW Solar Project – In December 2021, Maryland company, Standard Solar commissioned a community solar project in the town of Bethel, which is approximately 55 miles west of Augusta.
  • 7 MW Solar Project – In October 2022, the City of South Portland commissioned a solar array in closed landfill. Maine has over 400 closed landfills across the state.

Conclusions

In 2010, Maine used renewable energy to generate 56.2 % of the state’s electricity[7]. In  May 2022, Maine used renewable energy to generate 60.9 % of the state’s electricity.

Maine is one of twenty-one states that has zero carbon emission mandate for electricity generation. Maine is on track to achieve their 2030 Renewable Portfolio Standard of 80% before 2030!

Maine is moving toward 100% renewable energy power generation goal.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

[1] Maine Population 2022, World Population Review

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

[3] Biggest Industries in Maine – World Atlas

[4] National Conference of State Legislators – State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals, August 13, 2021

[5] Center for Climate and Energy Solutions – Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

[6] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Maine State Profile and Energy Estimates, www.eia.gov

[7] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Maine State Profile and Energy Estimates, Electricity Power Consumption Estimates 1960-2018

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