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April 13, 2009

From Etopia News Now out of Los Angeles (!) comes an interview with legislator, historian, and my old neighbor from Portland, Herb Adams


Herb Adams, Maine State Representative (D-119th), talks about feed-in tariff bill LD 1450 (HP 1006). "An Act To Establish the Renewable Energy Resources Program," now pending in the Maine Legislature, recorded from Augusta, Maine, on April 10, 2009.

Another old friend, recently laid off from National Semiconductor in South Portland, is a strong proponent of this bill from a very personal point of view, "This may be the single biggest thing that you can do to help me get a job in renewable energy. I really appreciate your help," he writes.

Now this is important: My friend writes,
The legislation ... will go before the Maine joint standing committee on Utility and Energy on TUESDAY, APRIL 14. The legislation is HP1006, LD 1450.

PLEASE WRITE AN EMAIL TO ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF THE UTILITY AND ENERGY COMMITTEE ASAP! AFTER TUESDAY IT MAY BE TOO LATE. ...

Here is a listing of the members...
He recommends reading more about it HERE (also where I found the Herb Adams audio).

Midcoast Green Collaborative
The MAINE RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES ACT: a feed-in law for Maine
WHAT IT IS
The Maine Renewable Energy Resources Program (LD 1450) is designed to encourage the development of distributed, renewable energy-based power generation, jobs creation and economic development.

LD 1450 is a market based alternative to tax-financed incentives. At its core, it consists of market-rate payments per kilowatt-hour for electricity generated by a renewable resource, enshrined in long term contracts between grid operators and qualified generators. It has a built-in efficiency-incentive because, unlike with grants and tax credits, its beneficiaries are paid only for the power they actually deliver to the grid.

With LD 1450 in force,
  • utilities pay a set price for renewably generated power, regardless of the amount of power they generate
  • the price is locked in by long term contract
  • the price is reduced with each new starting year providing an incentive to act sooner rather than later
  • the price is set independently from the retail rate, on the basis of what power from a typical renewably powered generator would cost: (cost of system/probable output)
  • to turn a profit, the citizen-producer only has to make sure the system performs well

WHAT IT DOES
LD 1450
  • introduces a market-based incentive which will phase out when no longer needed
  • does not depend on tax dollars
  • creates a large number of non-exportable jobs
  • offers a predictable rate of return on investment, making possible bank financing for virtually anyone with sufficient equity in a house
  • increases the share of distributed power generation
  • provides a strong incentive for performance and efficiency
  • will be evaluated and adjusted every two years
I've really gotta hand it to my old friend (to Herb too) for agitating on this and I thank him for bringing it to my attention. He's using his new-found time very wisely. I'm with him 100%. If we had this kind of financing mechanism, I'd go whole hog here at the offices of Maine Owl, plus I'd probably be able to find a decent technical job myself so that we can continue to afford to live in this great place. It's about time that the thousands of empty rooftops I see everyday begin to blossom with the panels of beauty that could greatly help our energy/economic situation.

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