Washington County Energy Planning Washington County Energy Planning

Down East Maine Renewable Energy Working Group

The Down East Maine Renewable Energy Report incorporates the findings of a six month exploration of renewable energy issues in Down East Maine, centered on Washington County, Hancock County, and adjacent areas. It's premise is that expanded investment and deployment of renewable energy, if found to be cleaner and more affordable than existing fuels and systems, would benefit Maine residents, who currently rely on fossil fuels for heat and electricity to a much greater extent than the average American or the average New Englander. It examined investments, challenges, and opportunities – real and anticipated – in relation to renewable power, its sources, networks, mechanical systems, costs, and workforce requirements.

The centerpiece of this project were the findings of a Renewable Energy Working Group, complemented by community perception consultations, asset inventories, case studies, impacts assessment, best practice indexing, and contextual research regarding policy and legislation (with emphasis on LD 1559 & 1085). The topics arising most consistently, urgently, and persuasively throughout all these investigations concerned the linked challenges of front-end transition costs, market distortion, and fair policy frameworks.