Projects Will Help Achieve Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard Goals
January 15, 2021
By Ramona du Houx
The Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC)) issued a Request for Proposals on January 15, 2021 for the Sale of Energy or Renewable Energy Credits from Qualifying Renewable Resources. A bidder may also offer to sell capacity as part of its proposal.
“The solicitation released today stems from bipartisan clean energy legislation I signed in 2019, which puts Maine on a trajectory to meet its nation-leading targets for curbing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and developing affordable, renewable energy resources right here in our state,” said Governor Mills. “As called for by Maine’s four-year Climate Action Plan, Maine Won’t Wait, I am committed to creating a flourishing clean energy sector in Maine to combat the effects of climate change on our state, strengthen our economy, and grow sustaining, good-paying jobs across Maine.”
This is the second renewable energy procurement for the state of Maine as part of the State’s new Renewable Portfolio Standards. In September, the Commission announced that 17 renewable projects had been chosen in the first procurement. Bidders estimate those projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 500,000 tons per year, create hundreds of jobs and contribute millions of dollars to Maine’s economy.
“We were very pleased with the first-year prices for energy from the first procurement, which ranged between 2.9-4 cents per kWh,” said Commission Chairman Philip L. Bartlett. “We are optimistic that the second round will be equally beneficial to the state of Maine.”
Facilities eligible for these contracts are required by the Legislature to qualify for Maine’s Class 1A Renewable Portfolio Standards. Projects will be selected through a competitive process conducted by the Commission and evaluated based on the expected value they will provide to Maine consumers and the state’s economy. Bidders selected will enter into long-term contracts with one or both of Maine’s investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities – Central Maine Power Company (CMP) and Versant Power.
A bidder’s information session will be held February 3, 2021 and initial proposals are due on or before March 18, 2021. The RFP and related materials are available on the Commission website at: https://www.maine.gov/mpuc/electricity/rfps/class1a2021/
Background: During its 2019 session, the Maine Legislature enacted An Act To Reform Maines Renewable Portfolio Standard, Public Law 2019, Chapter 477 (Act). The Act directs the Commission to conduct two competitive solicitation processes to procure, in the aggregate, an amount of energy or RECs from Class 1A resources that is equal to 14 percent of retail electricity sales in the State during calendar year 2018, or 1.715 Million MWh. Of that 14 percent total, the Act directs the Commission to acquire at least 7 percent but not more than 10 percent through contracts approved by December 31, 2020 (Tranche 1), and to acquire the remaining amount (Tranche 2) through a solicitation process to be initiated no later than January 15, 2021.
About the Commission
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service and Dig Safe. Philip L. Bartlett, II serves as Chairman, Bruce Williamson and Randall Davis serve as Commissioners.