Maine's high energy costs bring out Yankee ingenuity

BY Peter Van Allen


Just in the past few weeks, Mainebiz has had a number of stories about energy projects.

Central Maine Power won a contract, with HydroQuebec, to build a $950 million transmission network that will connect Massachusetts to Canadian hydropower. On the wind power front, Maine regulators will reopen terms of the Maine Aqua Ventus proposal to build offshore wind turbines. In the solar power arena, tiny Isle au Haut plans to replace its underwater power cable with a solar array that could supply the island's energy needs for years to come.

Maine businesses contend with some of the highest energy costs in the nation. But, as these stories partly illustrate, Maine also has an abundance of natural resources that reduce the dependence on fossil fuel-run power plants.

This issue of Mainebiz focuses on energy. Instead of delving deeply into one or two issues, we decided with this issue to take a broader look with brief stores highlighting what's new. The focus starts on Page 15.

Early this year, Mainebiz launched a second Real Estate Insider newsletter and the interest in property deals has not abated. A quick look at our Top 10 stories from the past two weeks (see column on left), has real estate stories in the top spot and at No. 6. There's the natural interest readers have in business decisions and the people behind the deals, but there's also a lot of money flowing right now. Financing is available. How long will it last? We'll see. The Federal Reserve Bank expects to raise rates at least three times this year, and it's not clear yet what kind of impact policy changes will have. But for the foreseeable future we'll continue to monitor the sales closely.