GridSolar
Clean, affordable energy from the sun
A Smart Electric Grid for Maine
The GridSolar Project

The GridSolar Project embodies a very different vision of the electric grid - a vision based on the concept of a Smart Electricity Grid. Rather than expand the transmission system to bring electricity to Maine's cities and towns, the GridSolar Project meets increased peak loads using distributed solar generation located within the communities, in combination with investments in a smart electric grid to promote energy efficiency and demand response.


The GridSolar vision replaces the one that led to the creation of Maine's electric grid almost a half century ago - when the grid was established as a network of high voltage, high capacity transmission lines interconnecting load centers with large generating stations. This was the vision that created the existing network in the 1970s as new nuclear plants and a like number of large oil plants were built in New England.



The GridSolar Project has three key components:


  • Development of a Smart Grid Platform that will allow Maine to achieve higher levels of efficiency in the generation, transmission and use of electricity
  • Creation of an Independent Smart Grid Operator that, unlike Maine's utilities, will be rewarded for increases in energy efficiency and conservation
  • Construction of distributed Renewable Solar Generation in lieu of massive new power lines that will provide the energy locally to meet increases in peak loads

 

The GridSolar Project is a better solution for Maine:

  • GridSolar is "two for (less than) the price of one"- it will deliver reliability plus renewable solar energy at lower costs than the MPRP
  • The MPRP requires $1.5 billion up front.  The GridSolar Project can be built in phases, if and when needed, keeping electric rates low and protecting ratepayers from being saddled with unnecessary costs.
  • The Smart Grid Platform will enable use of least cost solutions first, and will open up new markets for businesses that can provide energy savings, demand response and renewable energy.
  • GridSolar will ensure that renewable energy, jobs and tax revenues will remain in Maine rather than being sent to energy producers outside of the State and in Canada.
  • GridSolar is cleaner and more efficient; it will reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help improve Maine’s air quality.
  • GridSolar and the Smart Grid Platform will provide a foundation for the energy technologies of the future – keeping Maine competitive in a global energy marketplace.


In addition, many small-scale generating facilities are inherently more reliable (and less susceptible to terrorist attack) than are long, high capacity transmission lines that cause massive black-outs when they fail.

 

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