IN THIS ISSUE
Maine wind visible just over the horizon...
The first of 84 turbine blades began their journey to Mars Hill, Maine in April. Once there, the125-foot blades will be united with their Canadian-made tower sections to form Maine's first wind-power farm. Visit the Mars Hill project here.
The farm, now fully approved, will supply approximately 40-45 MW of clean electricity to the grid. For Mainers, this means clean power for northern Maine and reduced dependence on fossil fuels.
A second 90 MW wind project in Maine's western mountains has generated considerable interest state-wide. The project, spearheaded by Endless Energy, will be located circa 4 miles from Sugarloaf USA and is expected to produce enough output to power 44,000 households. The market potential for in-state wind is evidenced by the fact that the first 10 years of power output from the Redington project has already been sold. The permitting process for this second wind farm has begun and will include a public hearing in late July.
These two developments signal the rapid advance of Maine's clean energy future. Two other wind projects have also been announced by TransCanada and Maine Renewable Energy. Indeed, as Maine's first wind turbines made their way from Searsport to Mars Hill, they testify that in-state wind generation is just over the horizon.
Thank you, City of Portland. After the success of Portland's green Christmas Tree, the Maine Green Power Connection met with the City to see what else it could do to support green power. In honor of Earth Day, Portland purchased a week's worth of clean electricity. In doing so, they reduced their carbon emissions by 10,000 pounds.
To showcase Portland's effort, MeGPC asked Maine College of Art (MECA) students to create a visual exhibit on greenhouse gas emissions. Students in MECA's Green Group answered with "Emission Remission: A Bag Project." Made with thousands of plastic bags, the artwork hung in the lobby of the Porteous Building and in the rotunda of Portland City Hall during Earth Week.
"Air Trash"- The MECA student Green Group chose to use plastic bags rather than virgin materials. They collected bags that would have otherwise been thrown out and recycled them after the exhibit. Plastic bags framed the message perfectly: plastic bags are to the landscape what CO2 is to air - litter!
The exhibit captivated the City and public alike. As Carrie Marsh, the City's Urban Designer said, "what I find fascinating is the multiple meanings that people seem to be taking away from it - beyond [the] intended message - I hear words like vortex, prayer flags and other conversations in which it is clear that people are thinking about it - even as they are uniformly impressed by the beauty of the construction and the innovative use of materials to make the message."
Cumberland Foreside resident Nancy Anderson stopped by City Hall to visit the exhibit. "Seeing this sculpture really helps me understand the magnitude of greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 is intangible. This helps make it real."
Thank you, Portland and MECA!
More Green Power Purchases
Since 2003, Maine Green Power Connection (MeGPC) has tracked the growth of green power sales statewide. After 3 years, a cumulative total of 133,083 mWh of clean electricity has been sold in Maine. This total is the air emissions-equivalent of removing over 16,000* cars off the road for a year. Our thanks to these new green power buyers for their role in improving Maine's air.
"While there is a modest premium for 'green' energy, we believe this additional expense is warranted and in keeping with many other efforts at Bowdoin to conserve energy and reduce our impact on the environment," said S. Catherine Longley, Bowdoin's senior vice president for finance and administration, and treasurer. "We are particularly pleased to be able to supplement our underlying electricity purchases with energy produced by a nearby low-impact hydropower facility on the Androscoggin -- a river that flows through Brunswick and is already the subject of research by Bowdoin faculty and students."2
"Village Green" from Kennebunk Light and Power
By popular demand, the Kennebunk Light and Power District (KLPD) has introduced Village Green 100% hydropower. Blocks of 100 kWh cost $1.00, an additional one cent per kilowatt hour over KLPD's standard energy rate. Each block offsets approximately 132 pounds of carbon dioxide. Sharon Staz , general manager of KLPD, reports sales of 400 in the first two months.
To sign up for Village Green, call 985-3311 or email Sharon Staz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only current KLPD customers can subscribe. The Maine Green Power Connection commends KLPD and its customers. Thanks for bringing more green choice to Maine.
Mainers Cut their Carbon Cravings
Maine's climate neutral momentum is building. Nearly 250 people came together May 10th in Portland to discuss global warming solutions. Organizations and individuals are signing on to do their part. Here are four ways Mainers are stepping forward to cut their carbon emissions:
No Surprise, Clean Air is Good for You!
Going green is good for your health. Walk into a medical waiting room and you may notice a poster on the wall pronouncing Dirty Power = Dirty Air = Dirty Lungs. In honor of Clean Air Month this May, Maine Green Power Connection has teamed up with Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine (PSR/Maine), American Lung Association of Maine (ALAM), Maine Council of Churches and the Maine Asthma Council to educate patients on a different kind of preventive medicine, a clean environment.
This Clean Air patient education campaign could not be timelier. ALAM recently released its Maine Healthy Air Report, stating that Saco, Portland, Lewiston, Augusta, Waterville, Bangor, Old Town, Rumford, Presque Isle and Madawaska all exceed acceptable pollution levels. Hancock and York counties received a grade of "F" from the American Lung Association for high ozone days.
Both ozone and particle pollution are caused by burning fossil fuels. Long term exposure to these pollutants irritates lungs and increases problems with asthma and other lung diseases. Maine has one of the highest asthma rates in the country - nearly one in ten Mainers has asthma. The Clean Air patient education materials provide an upstream solution to Maine's asthma crisis - simple steps to clean air.
A pollution solution: green power - With ten healthcare advisors, Maine Green Power Connection designed posters and brochures for waiting rooms and medical offices throughout the state. The materials educate patients on the health effects of air pollution and suggest solutions: energy efficiency, exercise and clean electricity.
Green power is helping to make a difference. Do your part for a healthier Maine. If current green power sales doubled in 2006, the air quality impact would equal that of removing over 9,800 cars from Maine roads each year. Our lungs would thank you.
Health professionals may sign up to receive these patient education materials at www.caizhuai.cn/Sign-up.htm or by calling 1-800-226-7185.
To view the brochure, click here.
To view the poster, click here.
The free Maine Green Power Connection Newsletter is published quarterly via email by the Maine Energy Investment Corporation. To subscribe, click here. To unsubscribe, follow the directions below.