Pine Tree State Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions

State Overview

The population of the “Pine Tree State,” Maine  is approximately 1.39 million people. Maine is the 43rd most populated state in the United States.

In 2022, Maine’s economy was ranked 43rd in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP). The state’s economy is dependent on agriculture, timber, aquaculture, mining, manufacturing, and tourism industries.

Environmental Policies

In 1999, Maine enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard mandating all investor-owned and retail utilities sell 30% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

In 2005, Maine joined Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a market-based collaborative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2019, Maine increased the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard mandate for all investor-owned and retail utilities to sell 80% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030. The legislators also established an economy-wide goal of cutting 80% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Power Generation Capabilities

In June 2023, utilities used renewable energy (57.0%), natural gas (42.7%) and coal (0.3%) to generate electricity in Maine. Hydropower, wind, and biomass are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Maine.

In June 2023, the average cost of residential electricity in Maine was 27.63¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 16.11¢ 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 Project 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.
  • 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 October 2022, the City of South Portland commissioned a solar array in closed landfill. Maine has over 400 closed landfills across the state.
  • 8 MW Solar Project New York renewable energy company, UGE International is continuing work on a community solar project in the city of Bangor, approximately 60 miles northeast of Augusta, the state capital.

Conclusions

Maine has significant renewable energy resources including hydropower, onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, and biomass. The Pine Tree State continues to develop these resources to achieve the goal of cutting 80% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy issues.

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