Central Maine Power Co. wants customers that generate some of their own electricity from renewable sources to pay higher monthly service charges, but the idea is being challenged as an attack on Maine’s renewable-energy industry.
CMP says its plan would help cover the overall cost of service while keeping such customers on the grid even if they don’t need power all the time. Advocates of solar and wind power say the so-called standby charge would kill the economics of investing in renewable generation and run counter to the state’s policy of encouraging renewable energy development.
The charges would have “a devastating impact” on colleges that are committed to promoting sustainability, said Laurie Lachance, president of Thomas College in Waterville.
In 2012, the college had a 12,600-square-foot solar-electric array installed on its athletic center. The system is designed to supply 11 percent of the school’s electricity. CMP’s proposal would add $38,000 to the college’s bill over five years, a 56 percent increase, Lachance said.
Coverage by Tux Turkel of the Portland Press Herald. More at: http://www.pressherald.com/news/CMP_wants_Maine_self-generators_who_feed_grid_using_solar__wind_to_pay_more_.html