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Boothbay Pilot Project

What is the Pilot Project?

A unique, less expensive, and environmentally responsible way to deal with a shortage of electric grid capacity, which also financially benefits residents via monthly incentive payments for reducing summer load.

The Central Maine Power electric grid that serves the Boothbay peninsula is a single transmission line. This area is shown on the map below. The summer electric load on hot days is now close to the point of exceeding the line's capacity. CMP has indicated that it will cost approximately $18 million to upgrade this line to increase its capacity to handle the few hours in the summer when it is at risk.

The Boothbay Pilot Project involves the development (through third-party entities), operation and control of up to 2,000 kW of distributed generation, energy conservation and demand response located in the Boothbay Region.

Grid Solar is executing this project.  Interested parties submitted proposals for ways to generate power or reduce consumption at these peak load hours.   There are many options including installing solar electric, turning on backup generators, conservation via replacing A/C units with heat pumps, replacing electric water tanks, upgrading pool & hot tub pumps, commercial lighting or refrigeration upgrades,  and more.   The firsts installations are being completed.  The most noticeable ones are solar electric systems on local hotels.   Homeowners, businesses, and government agencies are all eligible as long as they reside in transmission line #23, basically south of Rt 27 & River Rd.

Our bid was for "unspecified locations" so we are able to work with everyone within the grid boundary.  We are actively seeking residents and businesses that would like to cut their energy bills, so give us a call today.  We will review your electric bill to determine how our products could save you money on your energy bills and qualify you for an incentive as well.  If necessary we will do a site survey.  We will explain how the products reduce the summer load and the additional year round benefits they provide such as significantly reducing your heating costs.  Next we will prepare a preliminary proposal including installation costs, possible state and federal incentives, and an estimate of the Grid Solar Pilot Project monthly incentive amount and duration.  If this meets your desires we will firm up the Grid Solar payments and any other details and provide you with a contract.

Acting quickly will be to your advantage since the additional state incentives last only as long as the funding and some federal incentives, such as the $300 heat pump credit expire 12/31/13.  These are nice bonuses on top of the Grid Solar payments.  Ideally all projects will be on line by June 2014.

It is exciting to see Boothbay Maine leading the nation.  This project is quite unique and hopefully other utility companies will follow suit.  The pilot project will run for 3 years.  If the evaluation shows it was successful we should see other areas follow and rate payers will avoid the cost of doing this 18 million dollar upgrade.  Plus we will have the bonus of cutting our environmental impact.  If we are unsuccessful we pay for the upgrade and CMP will have more support for their agenda of further grid expansion at rate payers expense.  Boothbay residents have a truly wonderful opportunity to save money with these additional incentives and should not let this chance pass by.

How much are the incentives?

Each site is unique so there is no set incentive amount.  In addition the bidders winning proposals submitted to Grid Solar were for different amounts and duration.  In all cases the incentive will be based solely on the energy saved on hot summer afternoons, the peak load hours, not on an annual basis.   On a large hotel sized photovoltaic array the monthly payments are hundreds of dollars.  The bids were based on a fixed payment per kilowatt saved or generated over a 2-10 year duration.

You could be saving money by cutting your energy use and getting a CMP incentive.  Plus there may be additional rebates from Efficiency Maine or Federal Tax credits.  Of course we will handle all the paper work for you.

What you need to do to participate in the Boothbay Pilot Project

The best way to learn more is to attend the public meeting on October 22, 2013, 6-8 pm, at the Boothbay Town Office, 1011 Wiscasset St.  Senator Chris Johnson will join us along with some of the other winning bidders.  We will cover the details of the program and also Maine's expanded low interest loan programs from Efficiency Maine for energy upgrades.   If you can't make the meeting give us a call and we will explain the details and talk about what items you might qualify for.  

Our favorite eligible projects

Our most favorite eligible project is replacing an A/C unit with an air source heat pump.  These units provide cooling at a lower cost.  They are nearly silent and the filter actually improves indoor air quality.  More importantly they provide space heating.  Compared to a tankless coil oil boiler it is like buying oil for less than $1.50 a gallon.  The average price is about $3500 before the state $500 rebate; there is a $300 federal tax credit and you also get the monthly Grid Solar incentive.

Solar Electric, called Photovoltaic or PV is very popular because of it's long life, 25 year warranty and no maintenance.  The ultimate is to combine the PV with a heat pump and let the sun heat and cool your home for free.  People are surprised to find out the PV solar array does not need to be located on your property .  You can apply the credit to whatever address you wish.  You can even split it among bills.

For hotels A/C and pool/hot tub pump upgrades are popular. 

Any commercial site with refrigeration needs may be helped with motor/compressor upgrades, and these also qualify for additional Efficiency Maine incentives.  

Smaller offices love replacing window A/C with heat pumps.  They cost much less to run, they are quiet, they let each room have different temperature settings, and best of all they provide space heating - usually at a savings over 50%.



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