Solar Panels installed in Back Bay, Portland Maine
Solar electric panels sit a top a home in Portland’s Back Bay area.

The Maine Renewable Energy Sources Act is important legislation designed to stimulate the rapid growth of renewable energy in Maine. Developed by the Midcoast Green Collaborative, the Act closely models Germany’s renowned ‘feed-in tariff’ law, which financially incentivizes home and business owners to install renewable energy-based power generation.

The law will require Maine’s utilities to pay a premium to residential and commercial renewable energy generators for the clean solar power that they produce. The funds to do this come from a small utility rate increase that affects all rate payers.

The price paid to clean electricity generators is locked in by a long term contract between grid operators and qualified generators such that renewable energy generators can expect a return on investment of at least 8% per year.

Germany pioneered the feed-in tariff concept in 1999, embarking the country on an incredible renewable energy growth spurt that has made it the worldwide leader in solar installations. Since implementation, the law has resulted in more than 2,000,000 renewable energy system installations and more than 239,000 new jobs. Grid reliability has also increased as a result, making the country’s incidence of blackouts the lowest in the world.

If passed, the Maine Renewable Energy Sources Act will rouse rapid growth of the state’s renewable energy economy, resulting in thousands of new jobs, reduced reliance on fossil fuel energy and greatly reduced CO2 emissions. Maine relies heavily on natural gas to produce electricity, which is part of the reason that Maine has the highest per capita CO2 emissions of all the New England states.

The Maine Renewable Energy Sources Act is currently being considered by the legislature and needs your support. Please contact your local state Senator and tell them that you want to see The Maine Renewable Energy Resources Program passed for a sustainable future.