Renewable Portfolio Standard

Maine's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) establishes the portion of electricity sold in the state that must be supplied by renewable energy resources. In 2019, Governor Mills signed legislation that increased Maine’s RPS to 80 percent by 2030 and set a goal of 100 percent by 2050.

In addition, that legislation required the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to procure long-term contracts for new clean energy generation, which may be paired with advanced energy storage. To ensure this procurement creates significant economic benefits for Maine, the procurement weighed bids with a 70 percent consideration towards benefits to ratepayers (i.e. price) and 30 percent towards proven benefits to the economy. In addition, this legislation required the creation of a new thermal portfolio standard to incentivize efficient heating and cooling installations; a requirement of 4 percent phased in by 2030.

The procurement was conducted in two tranches, with a total of 24 renewable energy projects awarded contracts at competitive prices in 2020 and 2021 (details below). The PUC regulates utilities to ensure compliance with the RPS and conducts the competitive procurements. For more information please visit the PUC website.

In 2023, Governor Mills announced a new goal for Maine to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2040. GEO has launched a planning process to inform that effort, which is detailed on the Maine Energy Plan: Pathway to 2040 page.

2020: PUC Announces First Round of Procurement Project Selections

The PUC approved 17 renewable energy projects for long-term contracts in the first round of procurements to achieve Maine’s RPS goals.

2021: PUC Announces Second Round of Procurement Project Selections

The PUC approved 7 renewable energy projects for long-term contracts in the second round of procurements to achieve Maine’s RPS goals.

2021: GEO Prepares 10-Year Renewable Energy Market Assessment

As required by legislation, GEO prepared a ten-year renewable energy market assessment with public input, which is available here.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Maine has multiple pathways to meet its RPS
  • Maine is on track to meet its near-term RPS requirement through 2026; new resources will need to be online to meet increasing goals thereafter
  • Transmission will be a key driver of renewable development
  • Storage paired with solar provides value to Maine's grid
  • A technologically diverse portfolio helps lower risk
  • Regional coordination on building transmission can help lower the cost of meeting Maine's RPS
  • Energy equity considerations cut across four dimensions: resource diversity, customer-sited resources, geographic resource distribution, and cost

2023: GEO Directed by Maine Legislature to Report on Maine's RPS

In 2023, GEO was directed by the Maine Legislature to report on the status and impacts of Maine's RPS by March 31, 2024 and every three years thereafter in coordination with the PUC. The 2024 report will include consideration of the impacts of Maine's RPS on energy prices as well as an assessment of benefits, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction and economic benefits. The State has contracted with Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC to develop the report and will be hosting two public meetings in the winter of 2024 to share information and solicit stakeholder feedback.

The first webinar was held on January 24, 2024 and covered the scope, proposed approach, schedule, and deliverables associated with the analysis. Click here to view the slides from the presentation.

Draft Report for Comment

A draft of the report prepared by Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC was posted for stakeholder review and comment. Comments have been included in an appendix to the final report submitted to the Legislature and linked below. The draft report documents the contributions of the RPS to Maine's economy and overall benefits to electric ratepayers while identifying a need for further procurement activity to ensure continued achievement of the RPS requirements in the future. 

Final Report

The final RPS report is available to view and download here