Renewable Energy Milestone in Maine

A green energy milestone was achieved in Maine as 1000 Mainers have signed up for renewable energy green tags since they were first offered on Januray 23, 2003. Maine Interfaith Power & Light (MeIPL), along with its suppliers Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and Maine Renewable Energy (MRE), an affiliate of Competitive Energy Services, LLC, announced this milestone for their green power program.

Brunswick, Maine, June 30, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] By buying electricity that is generated 100 percent from water, wind, sun and wood instead of coal, oil, gas or uranium, these customers are eliminating dangerous air, ground and water pollution and saving nonrenewable natural resources for more important uses. “We enrolled our first customer in January and within six months have achieved our initial target of one thousand customers,” said Peter Felsenthal, President of MeIPL. “We have reached this goal through the hard work of our volunteers and early adopters, who are leading by example and sharing the good news in their communities that we can now choose clean air, healthy children and energy independence through our electricity purchases in Maine.” Felsenthal also reported that a second major milestone has already been achieved. Between 1:00 and 2:00 in the afternoon on May 23, MeIPL’s in-state supplier, Maine Renewable Energy, delivered its one millionth kWh of green power. MRE is now delivering 1,000,000 kWhs of 100 percent made in Maine’ green electricity every month, according to Felsenthal. In addition to the one thousand customers that MeIPL has enrolled, Maine’s governor John Baldacci has enrolled 750 State of Maine accounts for green electricity to further Maine’s Clean Government initiative and control the State’s cost of energy. “We field inquiries about green power from households across Maine each day,” said Fred Horch, MeIPL Project Coordinator. “The great thing is that most residences and organizations can more than make up the slightly higher cost of green power by improving their energy efficiency. Our success shows that Mainers want a more sustainable electricity supply-and are willing to pay for it.” Each tag is based on 1,000 kWhs of electricity generated by Green-e certified wind and solar facilities across the United States. The more tags people buy, the more wind and solar electricity green generators produce. Since tags are not tied to the purchaser’s consumption of electricity, they are tax deductible. Green Supply is tied to the purchaser’s consumption of electricity; each kWh of electricity demand is matched to a kWh of green electricity supply on the purchaser’s utility bill. Residential and small nonresidential accounts in Maine can switch their supplier to Maine Renewable Energy, which offers 100 percent renewable electricity 100 percent generated in Maine from small hydropower dams and wood-fired biomass generators. “We are very pleased by the response we have received to our two offers,” said Erika Morgan, MeIPL founding Board Member. “The 1,000 customer milestone has been very important to demonstrate the demand in the market for clean and sustainable electricity products. We hope to expand our outreach efforts this summer with support from various foundations.” Green Supply from Maine Renewable Energy is electricity that is generated solely from small hydropower plants of less than 30 MW capacity and from wood-fired biomass plants, all located in Maine, with a minimum of 50 percent of the electricity mix coming from hydropower. Maine Renewable Energy sells for 6.5 cents per kWh. For typical Maine households that use 500 kWh per month, this will increase their monthly bill by US$7.50, or about 25 cents a day. Maine Renewable Energy has agreed to donate 10 percent of its profits from the sale of this product to Maine Interfaith Power and Light to help further their goals of cleaning the air.

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