November 21, 2013
Letters, Maine

Rate increase

Bangor Daily News | Posted Nov. 19, 2013 |

The BDN ran the article, ” Bangor Hydro seeks a rate increase” on Nov. 14. One of the most important facts that was not mentioned or reported was the fact that the parent owner of Bangor Hydro is a Canadian company Emera, who happens to own 49 percent of Boston-based First Wind. Bangor Hydro is claiming that the need to increase the rates on Maine’s citizens is based on the “renewable” energy requirements set forth by the Maine Legislature.

Yet, the same company that owns Bangor Hydro is the same company putting up the industrial turbines such as Bull Hill, Mars Hill, Rollins and Stetson. A basic tenet of free-market capitalism and economics is the following: As the supply of any product, good or services increases, with a static demand curve, the corresponding price for those products will decrease in relative proportion. What Emera has managed to do is amazing. It has increased the supply of electricity produced in Maine through a subsidiary company, First Wind, and is seeking to increase the price born by Maine citizens.

The dirty truth is that Maine citizens are paying for transmission upgrades for the industrial wind turbines for electricity that does not stay in Maine but is sold to Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island through power purchase agreements. Hence, the basic laws of economics are true: The supply of electricity did not go up in Maine, but the cost of transmitting it to Massachusetts has gone up and, hence, the price increase.

Darren Lord


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