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MPUC and 3Degrees Announce Launch of the Maine Green Power Program Which Enables Mainers to Choose Renewable Energy for Their Home or Business
April 23, 2012
Augusta, Maine - Today, the Maine Public Utilities Commission and 3Degrees, a leading renewable energy provider, announce Maine Green Power, a new, statewide green power program. This voluntary program gives Mainers the opportunity to purchase locally produced renewable energy.
Residents and businesses that participate in Maine Green Power will be able to ensure that the electricity they use at their home or business is matched by electricity generated by solar, hydro, wind, biomass or other renewable energy projects located in Maine. The Maine Green Power program will be available to customers of Central Maine Power (CMP), Bangor Hydro Electric Company (BHE) and Maine Public Service Company (MPS).
"Maine has abundant hydro, wind, biomass and other renewable energy resources," said Commission Chairman Thomas Welch. "Maine Green Power will enable our state's residents and businesses to encourage further local development of these resources by choosing to power their homes and businesses with renewable energy generated in Maine."
Maine Green Power participants can choose the amount of renewable energy they want to purchase in the form of 500 kilowatt hour "blocks" – 500 kilowatt hours represents approximately the average amount of electricity used by a Maine household in a month.
The cost for each block will be $7.50 per month in addition to the cost of electricity supply, and residential customers will be able to purchase either 0.5, 1, 2, 3 or 4 blocks of renewable energy per month. Commercial customers will be able to participate in Maine Green Power starting at the $7.50 per 500 kilowatt-hour block. Customers signing up for Maine Green Power will continue to receive their electricity as they have in the past, with no interruption in their service.
Customers interested in participating in Maine Green Power can currently learn more about the program and pre-enroll by visiting the Maine Public Utility Commission’s website at http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/greenpower/.
Locally Produced Green Power
Only renewable energy generated in Maine will be used to supply Maine Green Power. Moreover, the program will seek to secure approximately 25 percent of its green power from new renewable energy projects that have been placed into service or refurbished on or after January 1, 2005.
The types of green power projects that are eligible to generate and supply renewable energy to the Maine Green Power program include:
• Solar photovoltaic systems
• Hydroelectric projects that meet state and local fish passage requirements
• Wind turbines
• Biomass facilities that use wood, wood waste, landfill gas or agricultural biogas
• Tidal power projects
• Geothermal projects
• Fuels cells that utilize landfill gas or agricultural biogas
All purchases through Maine Green Power are voluntary and represent the generation of green power above and beyond the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). As such, none of the renewable energy purchased by Maine Green Power program participants can be utilized by Maine's electricity suppliers to fulfill their RPS requirements.
Securing Renewable Energy for Program Participants
Renewable energy will be obtained for Maine Green Power through Renewable Energy Certificates or RECs. One REC is created when a solar, hydro, wind, biomass and other renewable energy project produces one megawatt-hour, or 1,000 kilowatt-hours, of renewable electricity.
RECs allow for the identification and trading of the environmental and other non-power attributes of renewable energy generation. Owners of qualifying projects can sell them in addition to the electricity generated by the facilities. This additional revenue improves renewable energy project economics, increasing their competitiveness and encouraging further renewable energy project development.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission will provide oversight to ensure that only eligible Maine renewable energy resources are used to generate energy for Maine Green Power.
Green Power Program Experience and Expertise
3Degrees, in close collaboration with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, will obtain renewable energy for Maine Green Power and manage program education, communications and enrollment.
3Degrees is the nation’s leader in providing utilities and other electricity providers with green power program services. 3Degrees will provide all of the services necessary to launch, expand, and manage the Maine Green Power program.
3Degrees’ current utility green power program partners include the City of Palo Alto Utilities, PacifiCorp, Silicon Valley Power, Ameren Missouri, Puget Sound Energy, and Dominion Virginia Power. The average customer participation rate for these green power programs is 6.7 percent, a rate three times the national average.
3Degrees has helped four of these partners — City of Palo Alto Utilities, Silicon Valley Power, Puget Sound Energy, and PacifiCorp — secure places on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Top 10 list of green energy programs, including first place in Customer Participation Rate (City of Palo Alto Utilities).
3Degrees' mission is to mitigate the effects of climate change by accelerating the low-carbon, renewable energy economy. 3Degrees realizes this mission by helping its utility, business, LEED green building, and other partners utilize environmental commodities to build stakeholder value. Through these partnerships, 3Degrees increases demand for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets, channels capital to renewable energy and carbon reduction projects, and improves the efficiency of environmental markets.
Winner of the U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Leadership Award for five straight years, 3Degrees is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with regional operating centers located in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah; St. Louis, Missouri; Richmond, Virginia; and New England. To learn more, visit www.3degreesinc.com.
Commission Media Contact: Karen Geraghty (207) 287-3831 // 3 Degrees Media Contact: Jason Brown (415-674-1420) or (917-548-4451)
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