The brightest minds in the wind industry — among them, Sen. Angus King — are in town for a two-day American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) summit, discussing how to do wind better.
The senator called alternative energy critical pieces to saving the earth. “Fortunately, the technology in your industry, in solar, in electrical vehicles, in batteries and storage seems to be coming together at the right moment.”
The Maine Renewable Energy Association (“MREA”) and RENEW Northeast (“RENEW”) are pleased to welcome the American Wind Energy Association’s Wind Energy Conference – Northeast to the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks on Tuesday, July 19, and Wednesday, July 20.
“MREA and RENEW are thrilled that AWEA has again chosen Portland, Maine for its regional wind conference. Hundreds of people are coming to Maine to talk about all the exciting investment, employment, and clean air benefits of developing wind farms,” said Jeremy Payne, MREA Executive Director.
RENEW submitted testimony on March 19, 2015, to the Maine Energy, Utilities & Technology Committee opposing changes to Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) that will allow large Canadian hydropower to qualify. This proposed change effectively overlooks the sound reasoning behind the numerous prior decisions by state legislatures in New England to do just the opposite and set RPS requirements without eligibility for large hydropower. RPS requirements are intended to facilitate deployment of new, sustainable technologies that need financial incentives to be deployed at utility scale. Providing ratepayer incentives to large hydropower would amount to sending ratepayer funding out of the country for a resource that is already economically viable and with questionable sustainability and clean energy attributes.
Weakening the RPS requirements in New England could send inventors looking for less risky markets to develop renewable energy resources. If that happens, Maine’s economy will suffer. London Economics International projected New England’s RPS requirements are projected to create 11,700 Maine jobs and increase the state’s Gross State Product by $1.14 billion. The state’s wind industry, if deprived of support for projects in New England, cannot look to compete for opportunities in Quebec as its planned wind projects, totaling over 4000 MW, require significant (at least 60 percent) Quebec-sourced manufacturing and labor.