1. 32 cent per kw hour electricity – Yes, you read that right – 32 cents per kilowatt hour, that is what the ORPC TidGen Power System Commercialization Project will deliver for your $1.2 million in taxpayer debt.
The Maine Technology Asset Fund provided you, the Maine taxpayer, the opportunity to take on $1.2 million in additional taxpayer debt to fund a project that is projected to, and contracted for, 32 cent per kilowatt hour electricity for Maine consumers. (the current rate for Maine residential ratepayers according to the EIA is 15.28 cents per kilowatt hour – your $1.2 million in taxpayer debt will help ensure electricity rates that are twice as high as they are today)
To make matters worse, it’s locked in for 20 years:
“The PUC was directed by the state’s Ocean Energy Act of 2010 to set the terms for this deal. Under the PUC “term sheet” (Docket # 2010-235), the price of power from the Tidal Energy Project will be 21.5 cents per kilowatt hour and increase by 2 percent per year – which will raise the price to 32 cents per kilowatt hour in the final year of the 20-year PPAs.” Read the full article here.
And did we mention that ORPC also received $800,000+ for their OCGen project on top of the $1.2 million TidGen grant? Guess you better make that $2 million in taxpayer debt.
2. MIHGH Debacle – Take a look at how past bonding and grant moneys have been spent on debacles such as the Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health. Funded by an M-TAF R&D grant, MIHGH just recently announced they were forced to downsize considerably. This after Gov. Baldacci promised the Maine people hundreds of new, well-paying jobs to get the bond approved.
Reading this BDN article, it appears your $1.2 million in new debt is still supporting a handful of researchers, but no word on what your return on investment will look like.http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/17/health/genetics-institute-to-terminate-central-research-function/
3. Jobs Numbers Discrepancies – In this MPBN interview, MTI President Betsy Behman claims that M-TAF had directly created 289 new jobs and “preserved” an additional “300 or so” with the $53 million in taxpayer debt you had already been burdened with. BUT, in MTI’s annual report, they make the claim that M-TAF had directly created 447 jobs and “preserved” 405 existing jobs. In other words, the MTI annual report claims approximately 50% more jobs were created and preserved than the MTI President claims.
Until we can get straight numbers from MTI on the actual impact on job creation, including specifics, taxpayers should not be saddled with more of this debt.
If you would like to see your tax dollars and taxpayer debt used more effectively than this, please contact your legislators here and tell them to support the veto of LD 225 and hold back on an additional $20 million in debt for this program.