I am writing in support of L.D. 1708, designed to replace Central Maine Power and Versant with a consumer-owned utility. These companies’ business model – buying from large electricity generators and redistributing this electricity to their largest-volume customers – has failed to create the type of dynamic wholesale market that will be needed to carry us into the future of a carbon-neutral planet.

A group of former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members recently sent a letter to the current commissioners, urging them to use the agency’s “broad authorities and tools” to expand organized wholesale power markets to every region of the country. The letter stated, “To prepare the grid for a rapid evolution toward the low-carbon future, we urge you to finish the job of setting up organized wholesale power markets and ensure that they flourish in all regions of the country.”

The former regulators, appointed by presidents of both parties, were united in their view that power markets, particularly regional transmission organizations and independent system operators, “provide compelling platforms for renewable energy development and are achieving considerable consumer benefit,” according to the letter.

Versant and CMP have failed to create compelling platforms for renewables as they focus their time and talent on energy generation that promotes the opposite of dynamic markets. Non-discriminatory grid access that would be created by the new Pine Tree Power Co. would enable a more robust market and would serve as a critical foundation for a least-cost, customer-centric transition to a low-carbon or zero-carbon grid.

Tracy Floyd
Cape Elizabeth

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