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Governor Announces New Wind Working Group
New Small Wind Working Group is Established
January 13, 2009
AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci announced a pilot program today that will provide incentives for small wind energy projects. Enhanced incentives will be available for projects that meet the highest standards. The program will make potential incentives worth as much as $6,000.
The announcement came at a kickoff event establishing the new Maine Small Wind Working Group. With help from a grant from the federal Department of Energy, the working group will bring together stakeholders from around the State to act as an information clearinghouse for Mainers interested in establishing small wind projects.
“Electricity and energy costs can make for a daunting future unless we work together to build consensus in Maine to embrace clean and renewable technologies like wind power,” Governor Baldacci said. “These programs will help bring wind further into Maine’s energy mix.”
Efficiency Maine, a program of the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC), will oversee the working group and the incentives for installation of small wind energy systems.
The rebates were created under a law - sponsored by the Governor and passed unanimously by the State Legislature - to encourage development of wind power projects. The rebate enhancements came through separate actions taken by the Legislature and the PUC.
Rebates provide up to $2,000 for qualified residential wind systems and $4,000 for non-residential systems that meet program requirements, under rules adopted by the Maine Public Utilities Commission in accordance with recent statutory changes.
Under the pilot program, projects which meet rigorous standards for siting and tower height will be eligible for an additional $2,000.
“Wind is an abundant and free resource here, and Mainers increasingly recognize it as a viable component of the State’s energy future,” said Sharon M. Reishus, who chairs the Commission.
The Maine Small Wind Working Group will hold quarterly meetings and periodic conferences, provide expert speakers, technical and financial advice, and create other resources like wind potential maps, case studies and a Web site.
Qualified applications for the new wind incentive program received through the first quarter will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. If demand appears to be on track to exceed available funding after the first quarter, a random selection system may be instituted.
For more information and to download applications, call Efficiency Maine at 1-866-376-2463 and ask for Richard Fortier.
For this and other Maine PUC information, visit: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/
CONTACT: David Farmer, 287-2531 (cell) 557-5968
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