By Randy Poulton
Last week’s question:
Maine homes and businesses consume about 11,700 Giga-Watt-hours of electricity each year. How much electricity do generators in Maine produce each year?
The answer is “C”. That’s right, Maine no longer generates enough electricity to meet its needs. The funny thing is Maine used to have power to spare. I wonder why that changed?
A. 11,700 GWh – Any less and the lights would go out!
B. 12,000 GWh – With all the new solar and wind, Maine facilities generate more than enough electricity to keep the lights on.
C. 10,500 GWh – Maine relies on other states and Canada to generate more than 10% of the electricity we consume.
D. 9,000 GWh – But Maine is known for its now “damless” rivers, teaming with Atlantic salmon.
Here is some detail from the EIA:
Maine’s energy mix has changed significantly since the early 1990s when more than three-tenths of the state’s net generation came from nuclear power and another one-fifth, on average, came from petroleum-fired facilities. The state’s only nuclear plant ceased operations in 1997, and petroleum-fueled generation decreased from 37% of net generation in the late 1990s to less than 0.5% in 2021. As a result, Maine’s electricity generation in 2021 was about half of what it was two decades earlier.
This weeks question:
For many years, Maine Yankee in Wiscassett was Maine’s electrical generator with the highest capacity (860 Mega Watts). Maine Yankee closed in 1997. Today, what active Maine generator holds the distinction of having the highest capacity?
A. Wyman Station Unit 4 located on Cousin’s Island
B. Maine Independence Station located in Veazie
B. McKay Station located at Ripogenus Dam
D. Kibby Ridge Windfarm located in Eustis
E. NextEra’s 500-acre solar farm located in Farmington