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Mars Hill, Maine Wind Farm Slideshow

November 17, 2006

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U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition

May 5, 2014

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May 21, 2014

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June 7, 2014

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Implications of a PTC Extension on U.S. Wind Deployment

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Maine Wind Activities

This Web page summarizes wind activity on the following topics for the state of Maine. Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.

A photo of the 57-MW Stetson Wind Farm in Maine that was constructed in 2008. PIX16061

The 57-MW Stetson Wind Farm in Maine was constructed in 2008. Search for more wind-related photos in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory PIX database.

Operating and Planned Wind Projects

New England wind projects can be located on our Google Map. This page shows the location of installed and planned New England wind projects. Find windfarms, community-scale wind projects, customer-sited wind projects, small wind projects, and offshore wind projects.

Policies and Guidelines

  • Renewables Portfolio Standard

    This information was last updated on 6/23/2009.

    Prior to the end of the 2007 session, state legislators passed, LD 1920, an Act to Stimulate Demand for Renewable Energy, which the Governor signed. The Bill established a requirement for a New Renewable Resource Portfolio Requirement, adding an additional 'tier' to the state's Eligible Resources Portfolio Standard, in effect since 2000. The New Renewable Resource Portfolio Requirement requires each competitive electricity provider (including standard offer providers) to supply 10% of their retail sales from new renewable capacity resources by 2017. The Renewable Portfolio Standard took effect with a 1% requirement in 2008, which increases 1% annually to 10% by 2017. The requirements may be satisfied by the acquisition of Renewable Energy Certificates from the NEPOOL Generation Information System, or through Alternative Compliance Payments to the Renewable Resource Fund administered by the Public Utilities Commission.

    More Information

  • Eligible Resources Portfolio Standard

    This information was last updated on 6/23/2009.

    In addition to the Renewable Portfolio Standard, the state continues to maintain its Eligible Resources Portfolio Standard (PDF 30 KB) to meet 30% of state load. Wind is eligible for use in meeting this requirement. However, generation need not be new, and the broad resources eligibility has the effect of providing minimal support to existing renewable energy resources in Maine and throughout the region — primarily biomass and hydro facilities — while not creating demand for new renewable energy resources.

  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

    This information was last updated on 6/23/2009.

    On June 18, 2007 Governor Baldacci signed LD 1851, an Act to Establish the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Act of 2007. The law establishes a statewide carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program for fossil fuel-fired electrical generating units within the state that have a nameplate capacity equal to or greater than 25 megawatts and requires the Department of Environmental Protection to develop carbon dioxide cap-and-trade rules that ensure credible greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The bill also authorizes the sale of carbon dioxide emissions allowances for the benefit of consumers and the creation of the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust. See rules implementing Maine's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative participation. Chapters 317, 608, 156 (PDF 379 KB), 157 (PDF 23 KB), 158 (PDF 37 KB).

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Some of the available incentives for projects include tax incentives, public benefits fund supported grants and loans, and net metering. Net metering requires electric utilities to permit customers to reduce their electric bills by generating their own power using small-scale renewable energy systems. The excess power they generate can be fed back to their utilities, actually running their electric meters backwards.

  • Net Metering

    This information was last updated on 8/4/2011.

    All Maine electric utilities are required to offer net energy billing (net metering) for individual customers. Investor-owned utilities are required to offer net metering to eligible facilities with capacity limits up to 660 kilowatts (kW). Consumer owned utilities are required to offer net metering to consumer generators up to 100 kW (but are authorized to offer net metering to eligible facilities limits up to 500 kW).

    In early 2009, the Public Utilities Commission issued an order amending net metering rules to expand to shared ownership (though, consumer owned utilities may allow shared net meeting on a discretionary basis). In April 2009, LD 336 (PDF 9 KB), was signed into law authorizing the final adoption of the rule, allowing new shared ownership net metering opportunities, increasing the general capacity limit to 660 kW, and increasing the review trigger on cumulative capacity from 0.5% of peak load to 1% of peak load. Shared ownership specifications include:

    • Customers in the group must share legal ownership in the facility, meaning they have joint responsibility for the costs and benefits;
    • The eligible facility and the customer accounts must be located within a service territory of a single T&D utility;
    • Shared ownership is limited to no more than 10 accounts or meters;
    • Shared ownership customers must designate a single contact person for communications with the utility.

    More Information

  • Wind and Solar Rebate Program

    This information was last updated on 6/23/2009.

    In late 2008, the Maine Public Utilities Commission proposed rules for the revised solar rebate program, now including wind as directed by the legislature (Docket No. 2008-371). Wind eligibility for a rebate would be limited to a generating capacity of 100 kW or less, and must be installed by a Qualified Wind Energy System Installer. This term is defined as "a Maine licensed master electrician or a person who has been certified by the dealer of the system proposed to be installed as a factory trained and approved installer who works under the supervision of a Maine licensed master electrician."

    In addition, because the legislation requires that wind projects that receive rebates be located in "areas of wind power potential," the rule requires that an application for a wind energy system must "show, among other things, that the subject site is in an area with average wind speeds of Class II or greater as recognized by reliable wind resource databases such as those offered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ("NREL") or AWS Truewind, and that the subject tower and turbine will [be] at a sufficient height and in an area free of obstructions in order to ensure that a turbine may realize all wind available in an area."

    Rebates will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until allocated funds for the year are depleted.

    More Information

  • Voluntary Renewable Resources Fund

    This information was last updated on 6/23/2009.

    Maine's Voluntary Renewable Resources Fund offers Maine citizens the opportunity to contribute to the development of new renewable sources of energy. This tax-deductible contribution is used to support the state's universities and communities in researching and developing new ways to produce electricity from renewable sources like wind, water, sun, wood, tides, trash-to-energy, fuel cells and geothermal energy. The Maine Public Utilities Commission administers the fund and awards grants for various projects.

  • Long Term Contracts for Renewables Solicitation

    This information was last updated on 6/23/2009.

    The Public Utilities Commission solicited proposals to seek long-term contract proposals from qualified resources for capacity and associated energy. The Public Utilities Commission solicitation expressed a preference for resource types that meet environmental and reliability objectives that include new renewable capacity resources located in Maine. See the Maine Public Utilities Commission's Long-Term Contracts Request for Proposals Web site for information on the most recent solicitation.

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  • Maine Wind Energy Act

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    The Maine Wind Energy Act (35-A M.R.S.A. § 3401, et seq.) encourages the development and siting of appropriate wind energy production in Maine, promoting wind energy development in a manner that is, among other things, consistent with all state and federal environmental standards.

    Jurisdiction over renewable energy siting and permitting activities in Maine is shared between the Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Regulation Commission.

  • Governor's Wind Task Force

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    By Executive Order signed May 8, 2007, Maine Governor John Baldacci established a Wind Power Task Force whose objectives include making Maine a leader in wind power development; protecting Maine's quality of place and natural resources; and, maximizing the tangible benefits Maine people receive from wind power development. The Task Force was charged with the following responsibilities:

    • Examine the regulatory processes, review criteria, and financing options currently applicable to wind power projects proposed in Maine;
    • Identify potential barriers to wind power development in Maine; and
    • Recommend changes to state policies, regulatory requirements, and financial incentives to facilitate siting wind power projects in Maine in a manner that generates the benefits of this indigenous, renewable energy resource for Maine people without undue adverse effects on other natural resources values and uses.

    The Task Force met from July 2007 until January 2008. The Final report was issued in February 2008 with the following findings and recommendations (adapted from the NRCM Wind Power Task Force Summary (PDF 119 KB)):

    • Maine should seek to host at least 2000 MW of installed wind power capacity by 2015, and at least 3,000 MW by 2020;
    • Expedited Permitting areas were identified where streamlined permitted procedures should apply to promote the development of wind power. Approximately one-third of Land Use Regulation Commission jurisdiction is proposed to be included in the Expedited Permitting Areas, and about two-thirds (approximately 14 million acres) of the entire state;
    • The two regulatory approaches between Department of Environmental Protection and Land Use Regulation Commission needs to be made consistent for wind power projects;
    • The Land Use Regulation Commission should adopt Department of Environmental Protection's standards for the review of bird and bat impacts, noise, shadow flicker, and impacts on scenic resources of state and national significance. Additionally, the Task Force has endorsed guidelines for assessing potential related impacts on birds, bat, etc;
    • Small- and community-scale wind power projects should be facilitated through development of a model municipal ordinance;
    • Offshore wind power projects are economically viable in the near term, but Maine should actively work to understand the potential for offshore projects and be in a position to promote such projects as the technology and economics allow in the future;
    • The Office of Energy Independence and Security should track, on an annual basis, the progress toward meeting Maine’s wind power development goals.
  • Land Use Regulation Commission

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    A map of Maine outlining its counties and areas within the jurisdiction of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission.

    Areas within the jurisdiction of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission. Larger map versions are available from Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission.

    While the Land Use Regulation Commission has a long history of making land use decisions, reviewing wind energy projects is somewhat new to the Land Use Regulation Commission. The Land Use Regulation Commission defines its purpose as follows: to extend the principles of planning and zoning; preserve public health, safety, and welfare; encourage the well-planned, multiple use of natural resources; promote orderly development; and protect natural and ecological values. The Land Use Regulation Commission operations and decisions are guided by a 10-Year Comprehensive Plan, which the Commission is in the process of updating. Current documents relating to the plan are available on Land Use Regulation Commission's Comprehensive Land Use Plan Revision Web site. In 2008, "An Act to Implement Recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Wind Power Development," Public Law 2008, Chapter 661 was passed and caused several changes regarding wind energy development, which are summarized in an August 6, 2008 Land Use Regulation Commission Draft Rule. These changes impact Chapter 10 (PDF 2.7 MB) of the Commission's Rules and Standards, "Land Use Districts and Standards for Areas Within the Jurisdiction of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission." The Act requires the Land Use Regulation Commission to:

    • Identify specific places within its jurisdiction as an "expedited permitting area."
    • Identify "expedited wind energy development" as a permitted use in all Commission zoning subdistricts.

    The map of expedited permitting areas in ME can be found in Appendix F of Chapter 10 of the Commission's Rules (PDF 2.7 MB) .

    Current permitting and zoning deliberations on wind farms seeking permits can be found on the Weekly Report of Permit Applications Accepted for Processing and the Monthly Report of Commission and Staff Permitting Decisions.

    Past permitting decisions may be found on the Land Use Regulation Commission Archives.

  • Department of Environmental Protection

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    The Department of Environmental Protection is the lead permit agency for proposed wind projects in organized areas within the state. For information on the Department of Environmental Protection's regulatory framework applicable to developing wind projects, see:

    • Regulatory Framework for Organized Areas (PDF 1.3 MB), DEP Commissioner David Littell
    • Overview of Regulatory Framework Applicable to Wind Power Development in Maine (PDF 93 KB)
    • Guidance on Factors Considered During Agency Review of Wind Power Developments (PDF 21 KB), State of Maine

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Transmission, Interconnection, and System Integration

  • Transmission Issues

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    Much of the wind power potential in Maine is located either far from transmission facilities, or in locations either isolated from or constrained in access to load centers. Therefore, the potential for expanding the transmission system is critical to the future of wind in Maine. Transmission expansion is necessary in order to access areas with the best wind resource and so that facilities can either be upgraded or built enabling wind power to be transmitted to load centers.

    Within Maine, two initiatives have received substantive attention before the Public Utilities Commission, ISO New England, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    Maine Power Connection

    The Maine Public Service Company and Central Maine Power Company are jointly evaluating the feasibility of developing the Maine Power Connection, an electric transmission project that would link the Maine Public Service Company service area directly to Maine's electric grid. Presently, Maine Public Service Company is part of the New Brunswick system, and is connected to Maine indirectly through transmission lines between the Maine and New Brunswick systems.

    On February 5 2009, the Maine Public Utilities Company dismissed, without prejudice, the Petition for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity filed by Maine Public Service Company and Central Maine Power Company for a 345 kV line (the Maine Power Connection) between Limestone, Maine and Detroit, Maine, which would have connected northern Maine to ISO-New England. The Public Utilities Commission issued the order of dismissal because: (1) The preliminary system impact studies have indicated significant system reliability problems caused by the project as proposed (the construction of the Maine Power Connection line and the addition of Aroostook Wind Energy's 800 MW of wind generation); (2) Aroostook Wind Energy has decided not to fund such further studies at this time and has also indicated that it is unwilling to pay for the additional transmission work indicated to be needed by such studies or for the investment not socialized under the METU process. Developers and Sponsors of the Maine Power Connection have since investigated alternative measures in order to move forward on the Maine Power Connection Project.

    Maine Power Reliability Program

    Central Maine Power and Public Service Company of New Hampshire filed a joint Petition for a Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience to build and upgrade approximately 350 miles of transmission lines and associated infrastructure (Docket 2008-255). The Public Utilities Company review is active with many data requests and technical conferences. The technical conferences have covered project costs and benefits, the impact of energy efficiency, transmission line design, and electric and magnetic fields. There has also been a public hearing, with more to come. As of mid-December 2008, most of the data requests have been answered, though some follow-up will be required. The parties are beginning to discuss a schedule for completion, with Central Maine Power suggesting the Public Utilities Commission may be ready to begin deliberations in July 2009.

    For more information please refer to the Public Utilities Commission Virtual Case File and enter "2008255" in the Case ID field in order to search for updates on the Maine Power Reliability Program docket.

    There are numerous proposals being considered for addressing renewable energy-related transmission needs. The following projects are currently being considered as part of an ISO-New England scenario review and are subject to an ongoing regional debate over funding and cost allocations. Information on these projects can be found at the following links to presentations from a 2009 Environmental Business Council of New England workshop:

    • ISO-New England Transmission System Planning (PDF 1.0 MB)
    • Southern New England Access to Clean Energy (PDF 1.2 MB)
    • Quebec to New Hampshire Transmission Line (PDF 133 KB)
    • Northeast Energy Link (PDF 1. 7 MB)
    • New Brunswick: Large Scale Wind and Energy Hub Agenda (PDF 1.5 MB)
    • The Green Line Project (PDF 2.0 MB)

    Additional project information can be found at the Massachusetts Restructuring Roundtable site from a June 2009 presentation on transmission. The agenda and presentations are posted on the Roundtable Web site.

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Other Initiatives

  • Maine Ocean Energy Task Force

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    By Executive Order, Maine Governor John Baldacci established the Ocean Energy Task Force. The Task Force, a 21-member panel, has been charged with studying strategies for ocean-based wind, tidal and wave energy development. That group has also been directed to update the state's information on offshore oil and gas resources and technology. Interim findings (PDF 79 KB) were due to the Governor by April 1, 2009, and the final report is due on October 31, 2009. Governor Baldacci has stated that the newly established task force will augment the actions he's taken to pursue a long-term energy policy for the state of Maine.

    The interim report states that the Task Force has developed a work plan with subcommittees and has met regularly since it was created in November 2008. The Taskforce has recommended that legislation be drafted to create state General Permits to facilitate ocean energy research and demonstration projects. Such legislation is recommended to include the following provisions:

    • A streamlined 60-day Department of Environmental Protection permitting process for offshore wind energy demonstration projects that are located in up to five specific areas in Maine's coastal waters, to be identified based on consideration of potential impacts on natural resources and existing uses, community support, and other factors;
    • The Department of Conservation and State Planning Office, in consultation with the Departments of Marine Resources and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and other state agencies directed to implement a public outreach process to inform identification of these offshore areas, one of which, termed the Maine Offshore Wind Energy Research Center, would be for wind energy demonstration projects conducted by or in cooperation with wind energy technology researchers at the University of Maine;
    • A streamlined Department of Environmental Protection general permit for tidal power projects eligible for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pilot project; and
    • A streamlined permitting process on state submerged lands for a wind power or tidal power demonstration project that receives a general permit as provided under the bill.

    For more information on the Taskforce please refer to the March 25, 2009 Environmental Business Council Presentation on Offshore Wind by Donald Perkins, co-chair of the Taskforce (PDF 2.8 MB).

  • Maine Audubon

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    The Maine Audubon has initiated a grant-funded effort to convene about 20 stakeholders, including state agencies, wind developers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, environmental advocates, and bird enthusiasts, to develop recommendations for avian study protocol relating to wind siting.

  • Appalachian Mountain Club

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    The Appalachian Mountain Club has conducted a windpower siting analysis of Maine's mountains (PDF 3.2 MB).

  • Natural Resources Council of Maine

    This information was last updated on 6/25/2009.

    Provides information about wind projects in Maine and why the Natural Resources Council of Maine supports appropriately sited wind power.

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Buying Wind Energy

There are currently no wind energy offerings.

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List of Installers and Vendors

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Wind Working Group

Maine has a Wind Working Group. Click on the link for more information.

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Anemometer Loan Program

Maine has a program that loans out devices that will measure wind speed, known as anemometers.

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80-Meter Wind Map

Click on the link to read more about the wind resources in Maine.

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Read more information about events happening in the New England region.

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News, Publications, and Web Resources

Total of 33 records found.
Page 1 of 4, Sorted by descending date
Filtered by: States

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Date sort by ascending date sort by descending date State sort by ascending state sort by descending state Type of Information Program Area Title sort by ascending title sort by descending title More Details
6/3/2013 ME News
University of Maine Launches First U.S. Grid-Connected Offshore Wind Turbine  ...more
9/5/2012 ME News
Camden Hills Regional High School's WindPlanners: Wind Powering America Lessons Learned  ...more
5/4/2012 ME News
Future Wind Energy Leaders Gather in Belfast, Maine  ...more
3/21/2012 ME Publication
Economics of Offshore Wind Energy in Maine  ...more
8/9/2011 ME Web Resource
Maine Public Utilities Commission  ...more
8/9/2011 ME Web Resource
Maine State Energy Program  ...more
8/9/2011 ME Web Resource
Energy Resources Council  ...more
3/3/2011 ME News
Econ. Dev.
DOE Offers Conditional Commitment for a Loan Guarantee to Support Maine Wind Project  ...more
6/26/2010 ME Policy
Buckfield, Maine Wind Turbine Ordinances  ...more
4/20/2010 ME Policy
Winthrop, Maine Wind Turbine Ordinances  ...more

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