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Maine Green Power Newsletter

Issue 1, Winter 2004
Table of Contents

Welcome to the Maine Green Power Newsletter

Greetings! Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Maine Green Power Newsletter. Green, environmentally beneficial electricity is catching on in Maine. The momentum behind this simple, effective means of cleaning Maine's air continues to grow. This newsletter is our way to spread the word to and through you.

The Maine Green Power Connection (MeGPC; www.MaineGreenPower.org) is a collaborative market development program building interest in green electricity. Through 25 founding organizational partners, the Connection is spreading the word: Electricity need not pollute Maine's air and water. We can break our unhealthy addiction to fossil fuel. You can choose -today-to buy clean, renewable electricity.

Since Governor Baldacci helped launch the Connection in March 2003, we have reached across Maine. We have engaged the leaders in our target sectors: business, higher education and health care. Organizations like York Hospital, Colby and Unity Colleges and the State of Maine have all purchased clean, renewable green electricity. Their success stories -- why and how they made this choice -- are on our web pages.

Each quarter, this newsletter will feature a different focus. In this inaugural issue, we spotlight several of Maine's green powered campuses. You have received this e-newsletter because, somewhere and somehow, you have expressed interest in green power. You are in our database. If you wish to be "removed", please say so. Otherwise, please help us spread the word. Please pass this on, across the length and breadth of Maine.

With this first issue, we invite your feedback and ideas. What do you like or dislike; what should we do differently? From time to time, we will also ask your opinion on how best to this mission.

Overall, we hope to set a tone of optimism and leadership - it is possible to turn the tide against environmental degradation, global warming and bad air; there is something simple and effective we can all do. Maine's leading organizations, public and private, are showing the way. Read more, and join us.

Erika Morgan, Program Manager
Maine Green Power Connection

Campuses Making the Connection

Campuses have been among the first organizations in Maine to answer the call to green electricity. In September 2002, the Green Campus Consortium of Maine (www.megreencampus.com) joined MeGPC in hosting a Green Power for Campuses workshop at Bowdoin. Over 50 people from 7 schools heard presentations by EPA, Connecticut College and green power developers.

In early 2003, Colby, Unity and College of the Atlantic all stepped forward to become founding members of the Maine Green Power Connection. In doing so, they committed to explore green power for their own use. Perhaps more importantly, they each committed to helping MeGPC get the word about green electricity out as widely as possible.

These schools are all making good on their pledges of leadership:

  • In February and March 2003, MeGPC made several presentations at Colby, speaking to environmental studies students in luncheon colloquia, and to two groups of students studying green power in their course on global warming.

  • MeGPC has lectured twice at Unity, Maine's "environmental college", to classes in environmental policy both spring and fall semesters, 2003.

  • In May, MeGPC was invited to College of the Atlantic, to speak with both faculty/ administrators and to students and the general public, on green power and "ecological entrepreneurship".

  • In September, Colby became the first Maine campus to make a substantial purchase of green electricity. Colby purchased 100% "Made in Maine" green power from Constellation NewEnergy (see Menu), through Maine PowerOptions.

Focus on Unity College: 100% "Green Powered"

Unity has become the next school to respond to the green power challenge. Unity announced in early February that it is now "100% green powered". Unity purchased "Maine Made" green power for all of its electricity accounts, covering every building on campus.

"Being America's Environmental College, we need to do all we can to promote sustainable options", says college President David Glenn-Lewin. "Our students took a leadership role in researching alternatives and lobbying for positive change on campus. Faculty, staff and students worked together in committees, classes and clubs to bring about this change in electrical options."

"We are delighted that Unity has chosen to switch their electricity 100% to green power", said Erika Morgan, program manager for the Maine Green Power Connection (MeGPC). "As an environmental college, Unity understands that every 10M kWh of clean, renewable electricity reduces air pollutants as much as taking 1,000 cars off the road for a year. We applaud Unity's green power leadership. We look forward to working with them to challenge more Maine schools to clean the air with green power."

Leadership: Buying Green Power

The decision whether or not to buy green electricity is a challenge to leadership. Governor John Baldacci said as much when he purchased green power for more than 700 electricity accounts that power Maine State buildings. "I intend for Maine to once again become a leader in renewable energy", he said at the Connection's launch March 17. Recognizing that green electricity represents a simple way to accomplish this objective and a huge "win-win for Maine", the Governor voiced the kind of vision that separates leaders from the rest of the pack.

Colby College, York Hospital, MOFGA, and more than forty other leading organizations in Maine have also recognized that vision. They see that green power represents the opportunity to do the right thing for the health of Maine's people, environment and economy. Each one has stepped up to buy green electricity.

There are good reasons to buy green power. "Cleaner, renewable electricity helps to clear Maine's air," noted Governor Baldacci, "while it keeps in Maine the dollars we pay for our electricity." According to Tom Tietenberg, an international expert on environmental economics, "Colby's role is really very important in making sure that other institutions now have green power choices." "We believe that the health of the environment very much affects the health of each and every one of us," stated Stephen Pelletier of York Hospital. And Jean English, editor of the Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, wrote simply, "It feels good to be green."

In 2000, Maine electricity consumers won the right to choose their electricity supplier. There are now a variety of green options available to every electricity customer in Maine. (For a list, see the Maine Green Power Menu online at www.MaineGreenPower.org/Menu.)

By 2004, more than forty organizations and over 1,300 individuals have made the choice to buy green electricity. Buying green aligns an organization's purchasing choices with its principles. Buying green power can also be a source of recognition, for customers and employees. Many of Maine's homes, businesses and organizations are not yet buying green. But Maine's leaders are.

Introducing Maine's Green Power Menu

Want to buy green electricity? Whether you seek green electricity for your home or for your Fortune 500 company, you can find the right product online at www.MaineGreenPower.org/Menu.

"The Menu makes it easy to buy green electricity," explains Fred Horch, a program associate for the Maine Green Power Connection. "Instead of having to call a dozen companies, you can instantly see what's available now in Maine. If you find an offer you like, just click to learn more. Another click or call to buy and you're done."

The Menu is an "apples to apples" comparison of green electricity products from every green electricity provider active in Maine. One convenient web page lists the product name, its supplier, the product form, its renewable sources and price per kilowatt-hour. From the Menu, each product links to a detailed product page. From there, most products offer a way to buy or enroll online.

As of February 2, 2004, the Menu listed nine green electricity offers. If you are one of the increasing number of Mainers who want to act on their environmental commitments, check out your green electricity options at www.MaineGreenPower.org/Menu.

Short Takes: Green Power News

January 28, 2004 [EERE Network News] -- The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced last week that 2003 was one of the best years ever for the U.S. wind industry, but its outlook for 2004 is considerably less optimistic. In 2003, a total of 1,687 megawatts of new wind capacity were installed in the United States, just 9 megawatts shy of the record established in 2001. There are now 6,370 megawatts of wind power installed throughout the country, and utility-scale wind turbines are spinning in 30 states.

Brunswick, ME - January 23, 2004 [Brunswick Times Record] -- 10 million kilowatt hours of clean, "Made in Maine" renewable electricity were supplied to customers of Maine Interfaith Power and Light in 2003. More than 1 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy per month are now being supplied to MeIPL's customer base, which continues to grow.

January 21, 2004 [EERE Network News] -- The Durst Organization-owner of seven high-rise office buildings in Manhattan-became New York State's largest commercial buyer of wind power last week, when the company agreed to buy 10.5 million kilowatt-hours of wind power per year. Community Energy, Inc. (CEI) will generate the wind power at its 30-megawatt Fenner Wind Power Project, located east of Syracuse.

Bayonne, NJ - January 16, 2004 [Interstate Renewable Energy Coalition] -- The largest installation of electricity-saving solar panels on the East Coast is happening in Bayonne. A Board of Education application to the Clean Energy Program, a renewable energy initiative of the state Board of Public Utilities, was recently approved, securing some 10,000 panels that will go on school roofs. "Collectively, Bayonne is the solar capital of the East Coast," said Cassandra Kling, renewable energy program manager at the BPU. Together the panels are expected to generate 1.8 megawatts of energy - enough to power 300 homes for 30 years, she added.

Juno Beach, FL - January 16, 2004 [Business Wire] -- Florida Power & Light Company announced today that it has received final approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to offer its 3.6 million residential customers an opportunity to enroll in a new program the company will call Sunshine Energy. Starting in February customers can enroll in the program offered as a choice for those who want to support cleaner, renewable electric generation and reduce the demand for electricity generated from fossil fuels.

Munich, Germany - January 15, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] -- While most solar photovoltaic (PV) companies are constantly refining and improving silicon cells in incremental ways, the industry as a whole, and those who support it, have been waiting years for a technological breakthrough that will drop the up-front price and mainstream the clean energy technology. Fringe PV technologies such as organic polymers might be poised on the edge of major commercial success, say Siemens engineers.

San Diego, CA - January 14, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] -- Sanyo North America has commissioned two new solar installations that will generate 200 kW of clean, electrical power. The two solar arrays, a 150-kW PowerLight PowerGuard system atop the roof of Sanyo's U.S. headquarters, and a 50-kW PowerLight PowerTracker on the adjacent carport structure, will generate enough electricity during the daytime to power over 200 homes.

The free Maine Green Power Connection Newsletter is published quarterly via email by the Maine Energy Investment Corporation. To subscribe, send an email message to the "newsletter" email box @MaineGreenPower.org.
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