Wind energy is almost one fourth of Maine power generation

Fueled by clean power demand from Southern New England and federal tax credits, wind projects have grown to make up almost one fourth of Maine’s electricity generation capacity.

Activation of Maine’s largest wind project to date, in Bingham, helped boost wind power’s share of total generation in December (the Portland Press Herald’s Christian MilNeil charted projects by capacity and opening dates in March).

The monthly generation figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show how quickly wind power generation and capacity has grown in the state over the past decade, while total power generation has declined.

And wind opponents are concerned that efforts by southern New England states to reduce their impact on global warming will continue to propel along project development at a rapid pace.

[Hikers, wind foes: Out-of-state energy demands shouldn’t mar Maine scenery]

Since 2007, wind power jumped from the eighth most productive generation type in the state to the fourth, a rank it first hit in 2010.

In that time, it overtook petroleum liquids, non-wood biomass and coal.

The other brand of renewable power that’s gotten recent attention from policymakers — solar — still made up a tiny fraction of the state’s electricity generation in 2016, at about one quarter of 1 percent.

That’s a little less than when wind made its first appearance in federal reports, contributing a little less than 1 percent with power out of Mars Hill.


Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.