Maine Public Utilities Commission
[Environmental Valuation and Cost Benefit News] The Maine Public Utilities Commission has released a study that gives a quantitative value for solar power produced in Maine. The study was in response to legislation passed last year. It focused on “distributed” solar, meaning solar that is located at or near the place where the power is primarily consumed, for example on the rooftops of homes and businesses. The study found that solar power provides a substantial public benefit. It provides evidence that Maine’s current energy policies are leaving the state behind, and leading to missed opportunities.
The study calculates the monetary value of the benefits of solar installations, which have a 25-year warranty and produce power over a 35-year expected lifespan. The study finds that the value of solar power produced in Maine is 33 cents/kilowatt-hour. In comparison, customers who put solar panels on their roofs only receive a credit on their bill worth about 13 cents/kilowatt-hour.
“The study confirms that solar power provides enormous value to Maine people and energy users,” said Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “Solar provides critical energy diversity as well as environmental benefits. However, for Mainers to reap more of those benefits, we need more effective state solar policies.”
- Reduced electricity prices, due to displacing more expensive power sources;
- Less air and climate pollution;
- Reduced costs for our electric “grid” system;
- Reduced need to build more power plants to meet peak demand; and
- More stable prices and greater energy security from a diversified energy supply.
Together, these benefits mean each kilowatt-hour of solar power is worth more than twice as much as our outdated energy policies consider…