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Issue 4, Fall 2004

"Clean Energy Maine": Reaching out to Maine

Clean electricity is getting easier and easier to buy. But, now that these options are available, how to choose?

In answer, we are pleased to announce “Clean Energy Maine” (see related stories). This campaign will promote clean electricity by radio and in print, through an 800 number, fairs and events, the web and direct mail. In short, in every way we can!

Key to this campaign are new ways to simplify the buying decision. Check out www.cleanenergymaine.com. A simple click connects potential customers with the clean electricity providers of their choice.

Have you bought clean electricity yet? Here’s to an ever-greener Maine,

Erika Morgan, Program Manager
Maine Green Power Connection


"Clean Energy Maine" kicks off: statewide clean energy awareness campaign launched

Buying clean, green energy in Maine received a huge boost Tuesday, September 14th, with the statewide kick-off of the new “Clean Energy Maine” campaign. Prominent Maine energy officials joined MeGPC program manager Erika Morgan at the Worumbo Dam in Lisbon Falls, Maine’s first low impact hydropower facility, to launch this campaign.

Against the dramatic backdrop of the Androscoggin River, the dam and its innovative fish lift, several announcements ushered in the next stage of Maine’s clean electricity marketplace. Importantly, the State of Maine signaled its strong support of clean, renewable electricity through its sponsorship of the “Clean Energy Maine” campaign. The campaign will include broadcast, print and Web promotions throughout Maine, all to encourage Mainers to learn more about – and purchase – clean energy.

“Clean Energy Maine” helps Mainers choose their form of green power, either by going to www.cleanenergymaine.com or by calling 1-888-786-3631. Callers without internet access may request a “Clean Energy Maine” Info Kit for background information and a Reply Card to connect with clean electricity suppliers.

Among those speaking at the September 14 launch event were:

  • Beth Nagusky, Director, Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security,
  • Commissioner Sharon Reishus from the Maine Public Utilities Commission
  • Fred Ayer, Executive Director of the national Low Impact Hydro Institute.
  • Scott Routhier, vice president of Maine Interfaith Power and Light. (see next story).

New Clean Electricity Products for Homeowners

 
 
Tuesday, September 14, Maine Interfaith Power and Light (MeIPL) used the launch of “Clean Energy Maine” to introduce its second suite of clean electricity products. “MRE Green Supply 2” and “MRE Green Supply Plus” will replace and improve upon MeIPL’s original green supply product introduced in January 2003.

“With Green Supply 2 and Green Supply Plus, MeIPL moves closer to its mission, to ‘purchase electric power that has the least possible adverse effect on this fragile earth – our island home’” said MeIPL Vice President Scott Routhier in announcing these products. “We invite everyone who shares our concern for the health of Maine’s people and environment to join us on this journey”.

Both products represent significant environmental improvements over MeIPL’s original green electricity product. MeIPL’s original green supply came 50% from small hydro and 50% from biomass, all from Maine. MeIPL’s two new products come 100% from zero emission sources. MRE Green Supply 2 will come from the Worumbo Dam in Lisbon Falls.

Worumbo Dam is the only Low Impact Hydro Institute-certified small hydropower dam in the state of Maine. “This unique dam produces zero-emission electricity while also protecting fish in the beautiful Androscoggin River” said Routhier. “The Worumbo Dam is demonstrating that clean energy can benefit all Mainers, human and otherwise”.

MeIPL’s second new product helps Maine’s environment in yet another way. MRE Green Supply Plus couples zero-emission electricity from the Worumbo Dam with 20% new wind electricity. By supporting the development of new zero emission electricity generators like wind turbines, MeIPL’s customers are helping to build a better, cleaner electricity system for today and tomorrow.

These two new products make MeIPL’s offer an even better deal for Mainers who care about their state. Green Supply 2 and Green Supply Plus are better for Maine’s air quality yet the price is still modest — an estimated $5 – 7.50 per month more than “regular” electricity would cost for an average Maine homeowner.

Green Supply 2 and Green Supply Plus are available now. Both current and new Green Supply customers can sign up right away – just visit MeIPL’s website at www.meipl.org and click through to MRE’s site to purchase on-line.

Watch for Clean Energy Maine Near You

The “Clean Energy Maine” campaign is being coordinated by the Maine Green Power Connection (MeGPC) with funding from the Maine State Energy Program (MSEP). The objective: to help as many people as possible connect to the clean electricity products of their choice. Here’s how you can connect to “Clean Energy Maine”:

  • See it on the web. Visit www.cleanenenergymaine.com to learn why electricity from clean, renewable resources makes sense. View information on specific clean electricity products, both from Maine or elsewhere. From the website, link directly to suppliers to request product information and/or to make a purchase.
  • Call for an information kit. Call Clean Energy Maine at 1-888-786-3631. Return the postage paid Clean Energy Maine reply card in the kit to hear from the clean energy provider(s) of your choice.
  • Listen to the radio. Public service announcements featuring Clean Energy Maine will be broadcast on radio stations statewide during the campaign. Listen for Clean Energy Maine as an underwriter of some of your favorite Maine Public Radio programs.
  • Visit us at the Common Ground Country Fair September 24-26 in Unity, Maine. Clean Energy Maine and the Maine Green Power Connection will be sharing a booth in the Energy and Shelter section of the Fair. Bring us all your clean energy questions and pick up some “clean energy” to take home!
  • Check your neighborhood newspaper. Look in these local papers for Clean Energy Maine advertisements: Advertiser-Democrat, American Journal, Brunswick Times Record, Bridgton News, Capitol Weekly, The Forecaster, Franklin Journal, Lincoln County News, St. John Valley Times, Sanford News, and Star Herald.

Two New Partners: Sparhawk Mill/Shard Pottery and Evergreen Wind LLC

Support for the Maine Green Power Connection’s market development efforts continues to grow within the community of Maine’s “green businesses. At the “Clean Energy Maine” launch event September 14 (see related article), MeGPC program manager Erika Morgan announced three new Partners. Two of the three are actually clean energy producers, while the third is a Maine manufacturer using clean, Maine-made materials.

Sparhawk Mill/ Shard Pottery are combining forces to create beautiful, functional pottery using materials and resources generated right here in Maine. Shard Pottery creates “earth-friendly stoneware” in their studio in Yarmouth, using clean energy from the Sparhawk Mill in which Shard is located. A tour of Shard’s light, airy studio with racks of pottery and colorful, fun Maine-inspired designs can also include a look at the turbines themselves, located under the Mill building. Built in the 1830s, the Sparhawk Mill originally produced mechanical power that was used to manufacture woven goods like cotton grain bags and rope. The Mill was repowered in the early 1980s with three 90 kW “tube-type” turbines, and now produces “green power” for all of the businesses located on the premises.

Evergreen Wind Power, LLCEvergreen Wind LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UPC Wind Partners LLC, a global wind development company, brings this experience exclusively to developing wind projects in Maine. Evergreen Wind plans to build a 40-50 MW wind energy development in the Aroostook County town of Mars Hill. The proposed wind site, a ridge near the town of Mars Hill, already sports a ski area and cell tower array. The project enjoys considerable local enthusiasm because of the extent to which the proposed site continues Evergreen’s philosophy of selecting “only those sites which are already partially developed, do not present any special environmental concerns, benefit from strong local support, and bring the maximum number of regional economic benefits”.

Short Takes

Brockton High School Solar Project Dedicated; Kicks off "Brockton Solar Champions Partnership" [IREC News, September 13, 2004] --Brockton, Massachusetts – The City of Brockton unveiled a 2.4 kilowatt (kW) solar power project on the roof of Brockton High School. The project is part of the "Brockton Solar Champions Partnership", funded by US Department of Energy "Million Solar Roofs". This Partnership plans development of a 1 Megawatt (MW) solar Brightfield and 100 kW of rooftop solar citywide, including the high school.

California Plans to Install Solar Power on One Million Homes [EERE News, August 25, 2004] -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a plan last week to install solar power systems on one million homes by 2017. The Million Homes Plan starts with the state's current solar incentives but beginning in 2008, home builders will offer solar power as an option in any subdivision with 25 houses or more. Customers installing solar power systems will pay a time-of-use rate, which can yield added savings, and can also sell excess power back to the utility through net metering.

State Requirements and Green Power Markets: Both Yield More Renewables [EERE News, July 28, 2004] -- State renewable energy requirements and goals have resulted in 2,004 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity as of the end of 2003, according to a new analysis by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). Fifteen states now have some form of renewable energy requirement or goal, according to the EIA. Nine have renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which require renewable energy to supply a percentage of the state's electricity, and four states have mandates that specify how much new capacity should be built.

Large Wind Power Plants Proposed for Wisconsin and Nevada [EERE News, July 21, 2004] -- In Wisconsin, Invenergy Wind LLC is planning to build a 60-megawatt wind power plant near Brownsville, about 60 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) and Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) have teamed up to buy all the power from the new facility for the first 20 years of operation. In Nevada, Navitas Energy has submitted a proposal to build an 80-megawatt wind power plant in the Dry Hills in the north-central part of the state. Called the Getchell Wind Farm, the facility will consist of 40 wind turbines, each two megawatts in capacity. Both projects expect to begin operation in 2005.


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