Photo courtesy the Bangor Daily News - photo by Bridget Brown

Spring, 2006

IN THIS ISSUE


Maine wind visible just over the horizon...

The first of 84 turbine blades began their journey to Mars Hill, Maine in April. Once there, the125-foot blades will be united with their Canadian-made tower sections to form Maine's first wind-power farm. Visit the Mars Hill project here.

The farm, now fully approved, will supply approximately 40-45 MW of clean electricity to the grid. For Mainers, this means clean power for northern Maine and reduced dependence on fossil fuels.

A second 90 MW wind project in Maine's western mountains has generated considerable interest state-wide. The project, spearheaded by Endless Energy, will be located circa 4 miles from Sugarloaf USA and is expected to produce enough output to power 44,000 households. The market potential for in-state wind is evidenced by the fact that the first 10 years of power output from the Redington project has already been sold. The permitting process for this second wind farm has begun and will include a public hearing in late July.

These two developments signal the rapid advance of Maine's clean energy future. Two other wind projects have also been announced by TransCanada and Maine Renewable Energy. Indeed, as Maine's first wind turbines made their way from Searsport to Mars Hill, they testify that in-state wind generation is just over the horizon.


"Emission Remission"

Thank you, City of Portland. After the success of Portland's green Christmas Tree, the Maine Green Power Connection met with the City to see what else it could do to support green power. In honor of Earth Day, Portland purchased a week's worth of clean electricity. In doing so, they reduced their carbon emissions by 10,000 pounds.

To showcase Portland's effort, MeGPC asked Maine College of Art (MECA) students to create a visual exhibit on greenhouse gas emissions. Students in MECA's Green Group answered with "Emission Remission: A Bag Project." Made with thousands of plastic bags, the artwork hung in the lobby of the Porteous Building and in the rotunda of Portland City Hall during Earth Week.

"Air Trash"- The MECA student Green Group chose to use plastic bags rather than virgin materials. They collected bags that would have otherwise been thrown out and recycled them after the exhibit. Plastic bags framed the message perfectly: plastic bags are to the landscape what CO2 is to air - litter!

The exhibit captivated the City and public alike. As Carrie Marsh, the City's Urban Designer said, "what I find fascinating is the multiple meanings that people seem to be taking away from it - beyond [the] intended message - I hear words like vortex, prayer flags and other conversations in which it is clear that people are thinking about it - even as they are uniformly impressed by the beauty of the construction and the innovative use of materials to make the message."

Cumberland Foreside resident Nancy Anderson stopped by City Hall to visit the exhibit. "Seeing this sculpture really helps me understand the magnitude of greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 is intangible. This helps make it real."

Thank you, Portland and MECA!

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More Green Power Purchases

Since 2003, Maine Green Power Connection (MeGPC) has tracked the growth of green power sales statewide. After 3 years, a cumulative total of 133,083 mWh of clean electricity has been sold in Maine. This total is the air emissions-equivalent of removing over 16,000* cars off the road for a year. Our thanks to these new green power buyers for their role in improving Maine's air.

  • Tom's of Maine goes 100% wind.  Tom's of Maine, a national leader in both natural personal care products and socially-responsible business, announced early this year it's commitment to purchasing clean, wind energy.  Partnering with Constellation NewEnergy, Tom's will convert its manufacturing facility in Sanford, ME to 100% wind power.

    "One of our central beliefs is that Tom's of Maine can be financially successful while behaving in a socially responsible and environmentally sensitive manner."1 said CEO & Cofounder Tom Chappell. The wind energy purchase offsets 130,000 kWh per month, thereby cutting CO2 emissions by 2.5 million pounds per year.
  • 100% Low-impact hydro for Bowdoin. In May, Bowdoin College opted for 100% clean electricity from a hydropower dam in Lisbon Maine.  The Worumbo dam is the first in the State to be certified Low-Impact, with reduced environmental impacts.

"While there is a modest premium for 'green' energy, we believe this additional expense is warranted and in keeping with many other efforts at Bowdoin to conserve energy and reduce our impact on the environment," said S. Catherine Longley, Bowdoin's senior vice president for finance and administration, and treasurer. "We are particularly pleased to be able to supplement our underlying electricity purchases with energy produced by a nearby low-impact hydropower facility on the Androscoggin -- a river that flows through Brunswick and is already the subject of research by Bowdoin faculty and students."2

  • Waynflete school saves 46 tons of greenhouse gas.  Waynflete is an independent school in Portland, committed to encouraging students' "caring and responsible participation in the world."3 The school is demonstrating their concern to elementary school students by purchasing clean electricity from NativeEnergy for the remainder of the school year.  The purchase honors Earth Day, saves 46 tons of CO2, and removes the equivalent of 8.5 cars from the road for a year.  Way to "walk the talk," Waynflete!

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"Village Green" from Kennebunk Light and Power

By popular demand, the Kennebunk Light and Power District (KLPD) has introduced Village Green 100% hydropower. Blocks of 100 kWh cost $1.00, an additional one cent per kilowatt hour over KLPD's standard energy rate. Each block offsets approximately 132 pounds of carbon dioxide. Sharon Staz , general manager of KLPD, reports sales of 400 in the first two months.

To sign up for Village Green, call 985-3311 or email Sharon Staz at sastaz@klpd.org. Only current KLPD customers can subscribe. The Maine Green Power Connection commends KLPD and its customers. Thanks for bringing more green choice to Maine.

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Mainers Cut their Carbon Cravings

Maine's climate neutral momentum is building.  Nearly 250 people came together May 10th in Portland to discuss global warming solutions.  Organizations and individuals are signing on to do their part.  Here are four ways Mainers are stepping forward to cut their carbon emissions:

  • Governors Carbon Challenge surpasses Expectations.  At the start, who knew whether  Maine businesses would voluntarily agree to cut climate impacts.  Now, with over 50 Maine businesses and organizations signed up, the jury is in - Mainers from all sectors are stepping up to do their part.  From car dealerships to churches to colleges to construction companies; across the board, Mainers are ready to take climate-protecting action.

    As Steve Goodwin of Fairchild Semiconductor said, "It's the right thing to do." Harrison Horning of Hannaford explained that "We want to be involved in this program and support the State of Maine on what we believe is a very important issue."  To sign up for the Governor's Carbon Challenge, click here.

  • Individuals & homeowners join the Governor's Carbon Challenge.  The Governor’s Carbon Challenge focused initially on businesses and organizations.  By popular demand, however, Maine DEP has expanded the program to include individuals and homeowners.  To learn more, click here.

Join NRCM's Maine Global Warming Challenge

  • NRCM's "Global Warming Challenge."  On Earth Day, the Natural Resources Council of Maine challenged Mainers to cut 600,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.  Through 3 easy steps, individuals can reduce CO2 emissions by 4%.  After a month, NRCM has achieved 70% of its goal.  To take the challenge, click here.

  • Join the Carbon Neutral Club The Maine Green Power Connection challenges You to Take it One Step Further...  Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is easy - you can switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, turn down your water heater, take public transportation, walk and bike, etc.  But how can one completely eliminate ones greenhouse gas emissions?  It isn't as hard as it sounds - green power provides simple, creative ways to eliminate your climate impact.

    Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are green power products that allow you to offset emissions by supporting renewable energy anywhere in the country.  Every kilowatt hour of clean electricity purchased as a REC means one less kilowatt hour from coal or other fossil fuels.  Greenhouse gases and other pollutants are also cut, preventing additional atmospheric pollution.

    Visit our "How To" guide here to see how it works.

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No Surprise, Clean Air is Good for You!

Going green is good for your health. Walk into a medical waiting room and you may notice a poster on the wall pronouncing Dirty Power = Dirty Air = Dirty Lungs. In honor of Clean Air Month this May, Maine Green Power Connection has teamed up with Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine (PSR/Maine), American Lung Association of Maine (ALAM), Maine Council of Churches and the Maine Asthma Council to educate patients on a different kind of preventive medicine, a clean environment.

This Clean Air patient education campaign could not be timelier. ALAM recently released its Maine Healthy Air Report, stating that Saco, Portland, Lewiston, Augusta, Waterville, Bangor, Old Town, Rumford, Presque Isle and Madawaska all exceed acceptable pollution levels. Hancock and York counties received a grade of "F" from the American Lung Association for high ozone days.

Both ozone and particle pollution are caused by burning fossil fuels. Long term exposure to these pollutants irritates lungs and increases problems with asthma and other lung diseases. Maine has one of the highest asthma rates in the country - nearly one in ten Mainers has asthma. The Clean Air patient education materials provide an upstream solution to Maine's asthma crisis - simple steps to clean air.

A pollution solution: green power - With ten healthcare advisors, Maine Green Power Connection designed posters and brochures for waiting rooms and medical offices throughout the state. The materials educate patients on the health effects of air pollution and suggest solutions: energy efficiency, exercise and clean electricity.

Green power is helping to make a difference. Do your part for a healthier Maine. If current green power sales doubled in 2006, the air quality impact would equal that of removing over 9,800 cars from Maine roads each year. Our lungs would thank you.

Health professionals may sign up to receive these patient education materials at www.mainegreenpower.org/Sign-up.htm or by calling 1-800-226-7185.

To view the brochure, click here.

To view the poster, click here.

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The free Maine Green Power Connection Newsletter is published quarterly via email by the Maine Energy Investment Corporation. To subscribe, click here.  To unsubscribe, follow the directions below.