1880 - Maine's first lightbulb turned on in the Willimantic Mill
near Dover Foxcroft and Sebec Lake.
1887 - Presque Isle Electric Light Company is formed in the northeast
corner of Maine.
1899 - Walter Wyman and Harvey Eaton incorporate the Oakland Electric
1905 - Presque Isle Electric Light Company merges with the New
Brunswick Electrical Power Company of Canada forming one company:
The Maine and New Brunswick Electrical Power Company, Limited.
1909 - State Senator Percival Baxter introduces a bill to the
Legislature prohibiting the sale of electricity out of state.
Governor Bert Fernald signs the bill into law and it becomes
known as the Fernald Law.
1910 - Oakland Electric Company changes name to Central Maine
1913 - Maine Public Utilities Commission founded by an act of
1918 -The Fernald Law is the impetus behind the Maine and New
Brunswick Electrical Power Company, Ltd. splitting into two separate
A new company named the Gould Electric Company after majority
stockholder, and eventual U.S. Senator, Arthur Gould, controlled
the assets located in Maine.
The assets in Canada remain with the Maine and New Brunswick Electrical
Power Company with the exception of certain water rights located
in Canada which were ceded to the Gould Electric Company.
1924 - Bangor Hydro-Electric is incorporated.
1926 - Hydroelectric engineer Dexter Cooper receives a preliminary
permit from the Federal Power Commission to develop a tidal dam
in Passamaquoddy Bay. Cooper actively seeks to fund the project.
This project becomes known as the Quoddy Tidal Dam.
1928 - The Gould Electric Company changed its name to the Maine
Public Utility Company. A year later the named changed again
to what is presently the Maine Public Service Company.
1929 - The Smith-Carlton Bill is passed by the Maine Legislature
which would allow power companies in Maine to export electricity,
repealing the Fernald Law. However, the bill never becomes law.
Despite a heavy public relations campaign by the Electric Companies
in Maine and the Gannett newspapers, the Smith-Carlton Bill is
overturned by Maine voters during a referendum in September.
1934 - The Public Works Administration under President Franklin
Delano Roosevelt denies Dexter Cooper's application for $33 million
to fund the construction of the Quoddy Tidal Dam.
1935 - The Rural Electrification Administration (REA) is created
by FDR's administration under its New Deal program.
1939 - Using funds from the REA, 164 residents in eastern Maine
form the Farm Home Electric Cooperative.
1955 - The Maine Legislature repeals the Fernald Law.
1964 - The Farm Home Electric Cooperative merges with Kingman
Electric to form Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative, which still
operates in Calais.
1972 - The Quoddy Tidal Dam proposal is revived in conjunction
with a proposed hydroelectric power project on the St. John River.
Congress had approved the proposal to erect two new dams at Dickey
and the nearby Lincoln school. Environmentalists fought the proposal,
arguing that it would flood surrounding wilderness areas, destroy
wildlife habitats, and spoil fishing and canoeing on the river.
Private power companies also fought the project. Congress never
authorized funding for Dickey-Lincoln, and eventually the project
1972 - Maine's first nuclear power plant, Maine Yankee, opens.
1997 - Maine Yankee closes.
1997 - The Maine Legislature votes to restructure the state's
2000 - As of March 1, 2000 the electric industry in Maine is