July 20, 2011 - my energy supply mix

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today, a quick update on Maine's energy mix.  (For previous snapshots of the generation resources supplying, check out this post from November 2010 and this post from August 2010.)

Here's a recent mailing I received at my house detailing the power source mix for the standard offer provider for customers of Central Maine Power's network: NextEra Energy Power Marketing, LLC.

On a volumetric basis, hydroelectricity accounted for the greatest share of energy sold: 30.1% of the power served through this standard offer period.  Natural gas-fired generation came in a close second, with 29.8% of the supply.  Nuclear power rounds out the major players in this supply mix, at 22.4%.  These three resources alone produced 82.3% of the power sold through this standard offer.

How much of this power is renewable?  Hydroelectric generation is considered renewable.  Maine law requires suppliers to source at least 30% of their power from existing renewable resources like hydropower -- which correlates very closely to the 30.1% actually sourced from hydropower here.  Maine's renewable portfolio standard also requires utilities to source an increasing percentage of their power from new renewable projects built or refurbished in recent years; in 2010, that requirement amounted to 3% of load served.  Assuming that the facilities in question qualify as new, this supplier appears to have met that requirement with biomass (1.8% of load served) and wind (1.6%) of load served.

Which generation resources make up your energy mix affects both the price of electricity and its environmental attributes such as air emissions.  Tomorrow, I'll look at the air emissions associated with this energy mix.

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