Renewable Initiatives, Strategic Forward Planning

Maine Aims For Most Aggressive Renewable Standards in New England

The Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) is the only regional electric grid operator where each participating state in the ISO has mandatory renewable standards. In a recent ARE blog post, Mike Wirkus discussed the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) goals of the State of Massachusetts, where they target 80% of generation come from clean energy sources by 2050. Three distinct programs will help the Commonwealth achieve this target: Clean Peak Standards, Clean Energy Standards, and the Clean Energy Standard Expansion. Maine, however, has set the bar higher and now has the most aggressive renewable portfolio standards requirements in New England.

Maine began requiring electric service providers to source 30% of their electric sales from “eligible sources” back in 1997. These eligible sources included tidal, solar, fuel cell, wind, hydro, and biomass. Ten years later Maine increased the RPS goals by 10% and required that the additional 10% be sourced from new renewable generation that came online after 2005. This cumulative 40% requirement is in place through 2022. These aggressive targets were increased over the last year and now mandates that 80% of electric sales be sourced from renewables by 2030 and 100% renewable by 2050.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, Maine renewable generation sources need to grow by 6.6% annually to achieve the 80% RPS target by 2030. Assuming all proposed and planned projects proceed forward as scheduled today, Maine should be positioned to achieve this target.

As was true in Massachusetts, the rise in RPS in Maine will undoubtedly impact the energy budgets of energy consumers throughout the State. It is critical to partner with an Energy Advisor that stays in front of all regulatory changes and understands how each supplier’s retail supply contract deals with these exact costs throughout the term. Reach out to an experienced Atlas Advisor to learn about our supplier and contract vetting process.

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