The Maine Public Utilities Commission (overseers of electricity rates in Maine ) must be having one of those "If we only knew then what we know now" moments.
In 2009, the PUC mandated a contract between a wind turbine project owner in Lincoln and Central Maine Power and Bangor-Hydro. An article from the Sun Journal appearing in April 2010 stated “The 20-year contract between Rollins’ owner, First Wind, and CMP and Bangor Hydro Electric Co. was hammered out by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. It's a technical, 11-page document that contains a broad range between the highest price ($110 per megawatt-hour) and lowest ($55 per megawatt-hour to start).”
The first quarter report from ISO-NE (the nonprofit regulatory agency that oversees electricity flow for six states in New England, and that declares, on its website, it has the “ mission of ensuring the constant availability of reasonably-priced electricity for New England's residents and businesses) reveals an overall price of electricity supply at an average of $32.59 per megawatt-hour. Compare this to the first quarter overall average price in 2011 at $57.53 per megawatt-hour.
The reduction is mainly attributable to a 41 percent reduction in the cost of natural gas. Natural gas-fired plants account for nearly 50 percent of the electricity used in New England.
The PUC assumed gas prices would increase and make wind seem less costly. If they only knew then what we know now.
Dan McKay Dixfield