ENVIRONMENTAL & ENERGY TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL OF MAINE


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  • Friday, December 08, 2017 8:01 AM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    Jeff Marks, Executive Director of E2Tech, will leave the organization he has led for five and a half years to pursue service and volunteer work abroad. His final day with E2Tech is December 31st. 

    Jeff came to E2Tech in July of 2012 after a career in government relations and policy work in California, Washington D.C., and Maine. Jeff helped the organization grow operationally and financially, landing grants and leading special projects that allowed E2Tech to promote and support the energy and environmental sector in Maine, as well as increase its presence among entrepreneurs, creatives, businesses, activists, and state, regional, and federal representatives.

    Melissa Winne, current Project Director of E2Tech, will be stepping in as Interim Director and will maintain the organization’s momentum as we search for a new Executive Director. 

    Jeff is eager to follow his passion for environmental service and was given a unique opportunity to travel overseas and volunteer with an animal and wildlife rescue operation. He is proud of his time with E2Tech, stating, “E2Tech is an incredible network of private, public, and non-profit leaders on the cutting edge of the environmental, energy, and cleantech sectors.  If not for this new opportunity, I would love to continue working with the dedicated individuals who bring innovation and progress to this community. I want to thank E2Tech’s staff and Board of Directors and all E2Tech members and partners for positioning us as a leading Northeastern business and economic development organization.”

    Patrick Coughlin, Principal and Director of Engineering and Sentry EHS at St. Germain Collins, and Chair of the E2Tech Board of Directors remarked, “This organization’s success has come from the hard work and dedication of the staff, volunteers, and the Board. Thanks to Jeff for elevating E2Tech to the professional organization it is today!”

    E2Tech is engaged in several projects that will achieve long-term benefits for Maine.  Its educational and networking activities in 2018 will continue to promote business development, sustainable job growth, and sound public policy.

    Please join us in thanking Jeff for his dedication and leadership throughout his tenure with E2Tech at our December 14th Winter Networking Reception at Cloudport in Portland. We look forward to hearing about his new adventures!


  • Monday, December 04, 2017 3:35 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)

    On the International Stage: In early November, the United States became the only country unwilling to participate in the Paris Climate Agreement, after Syria pledged to join. At the U.N. climate summit in Bonn, Germany, the official U.S. formal delegation declined to participate except to speak about the role clean coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy will play in reducing future carbon emissions. A second U.S. delegation of businesses, governors, and mayors of major cities also attended and described their plans to meet the U.S. Paris Agreement target of 26-28% reduction on their own. Fourteen states have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA) as a commitment to uphold the Paris Agreement on their own. Other states and cities have pledged support for the Paris Agreement but have not joined the USCA. 

    After three years of stable world carbon emissions, 2017 levels are expected to rise by 2%. While emissions from European countries and the U.S. are expected to be lower than previous years, emissions from the rest of the world, especially China and India, are expected to be higher. 

    On the National Stage: On October 10, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The EPA held its only scheduled public meetings on November 28 and 29 in Charleston, West Virginia – coal country! Written public comments will be accepted until January 16, 2018. 

    In our August newsletter, we wrote about the leaked Climate Science Special Report draft. Thirteen Federal Agencies released the final version in November, which is Volume I of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Climate Change Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the United States is Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment and is scheduled for release in late 2018. Volume II will analyze the impacts to the nation’s resources (forests, freshwater, saltwater, soil, air, etc.), sectors (energy, transportation, infrastructure, health, etc.), and systems. Volume II will also provide regional analyses, risk assessment, and impact responses and adaptations. The public comment period for Volume II is open until January 31, 2018. A related report, Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report, reviews U.S. and North American carbon sources and sinks and their respective impacts to global carbon amounts and managed and unmanaged systems. The Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report is also available for public comment until January 8, 2018. 

    On the State Stage: Maine is already starting to show signs of climate change:

    • Warmer falls and winters are allowing ticks to stay active longer, reducing the moose population and increasing human cases of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme and anaplasmosis.
    • Some invasive forest pests, like the hemlock woolly adelgid, were contained by Maine’s colder winters but are now expanding their range. 
    • The Gulf of Maine is getting warmer and more acidic, impacting shellfish larvae habitat and shell development, reducing suitable groundfish habitat, and becoming more hospitable for non-native species. 
    • Over a 100-year period, sea level has increased by 0.6 feet in the Portland area, while Eastport’s sea level has increased by 0.7 feet. 
  • Monday, December 04, 2017 3:34 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)

    Maine's first year of a two-year 128th Legislative Session closed in August with a slate of energy and environmental bills passed, carried over, or dead!

    More than 400 bills need action in the 128th Legislature 2nd session. Among them are 319 that were held over from the first session, 63 new bills approved for consideration by legislative leaders, and 41 bills submitted by Gov. Paul LePage. In a closely divided Legislature, several key lawmakers are running for governor, including the Senate President, Senate Majority Leader, and House Minority Leader. This political dynamic could spill over into deliberations over a number of controversial bills related to energy, criminal justice, health and human services, and taxes.

    The 2nd session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 3 and conclude on April 18. 

    Some Energy & Environmental Bills Carried Over Include:

    • LD 131 An Act to Protect the Biomass Industry
    • LD 257 An Act to Enable Municipalities Working with Utilities to Establish Microgrids
    • LD 260 An Act to Create the Maine Energy Office
    • LD467 An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Address Changes in Sea Level
    • LD 532 An Act to Remove the 100-megawatt Limit on Hydroelectric Generators under the Renewable Resources Laws
    • LD 656 An Act to Improve the Ability of Maine Companies to Manufacture and Market Bioplastics
    • LD 1095 An Act to Establish the Maine Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission
    • LD 1248 An Act to Improve Public Transportation in Maine
    • LD 1373 An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine
    • LD 1444 An Act Regarding Large-scale Community Solar Procurement
    • LD 1487 An Act to Control Transmission Costs through the Development of Nontransmission Alternatives
    • LD 1515 An Act to Reduce Electric Rates for Maine Businesses by Amending the Laws Governing Spending from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund
    • LD 1632 An Act to Establish the Manufacturing Jobs Energy Program


    New Energy & Environmental Bills for the Second Session Include:

    • LR 2474 An Act Regarding a Biomass-generated Energy Purchase and Sale Agreement and Payments to Contractors
    • LR 2584 An Act to Eliminate Gross Metering for Energy Generation
    • LR 2594 An Act to Revise the Renewable Portfolio Standard Laws to Require Certain Hydropower Facilities to Qualify as Class I Resources
    • LR 2603 An Act to Protect the Right to Self-generate Electricity
    • LR 2608 Resolve, Establishing the Commission to Study the Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of Energy Storage to the Maine Electricity Industry
    • LR 2626 Resolve, To Join the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification 
    • LR 2634 An Act to Ensure Equity in the Funding of Maine’s Transportation Infrastructure by Imposing an Annual Fee on Hybrid and Electric Vehicles 
    • LR 2712 An Act to Allow Hydropower Facilities to Sell Power Directly to Rural Manufacturing and Industrial Sites
    • LR 2736 An Act to Update the Allowance Budget for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
    • LR 2786 An Act to Protect Maine Residents and Businesses from Rising Electricity Costs


  • Monday, December 04, 2017 3:32 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)

    E2Tech approved term extensions for seven of its 24-Member Board of Directors and elected three new Members at its November 16, 2017 Annual Meeting during the Expo in Portland. The ten Directors’ experiences are diverse and span the electricity, energy law, wind and solar, construction, project management, hydrokinetics, data security, and environmental law and consulting fields in Maine. We are excited to welcome (and welcome back) all of these dedicated individuals as a vital part of our organization!

    New E2Tech Board Members


    Laney Brown – Vice President, Concentric Energy Advisors
    At Concentric Energy Advisors, Laney works with clients to provide guidance and strategy on the changing energy industry. She is an expert in distributed generation, smart grids, and regulatory policy and is a member of NY State Energy R&D Agency’s Grid Modernization Advisory Committee and the US Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee. 


    Sarah Tracy – Partner, Pierce Atwood (Chair, Program Committee)
    Sarah’s practice focuses primarily on electric and natural gas proceedings before state and federal entities, including state public utility commissions and state and federal courts. Sarah also negotiates and drafts agreements for the purchase of electric energy, capacity and renewable energy credits, as well as long-term contracts for natural gas supply and distribution service.


    Paul Williamson – Development Manager, Apex Clean Energy
    Paul manages Apex Clean Energy’s wind and solar energy generation projects in Maine through Downeast Wind. Apex Clean Energy has more than 60 projects in development in 20 states in addition to seven operational wind farms. 

    Returning Board Members


    Chad Allen – Senior Project Engineer, Cianbro 
    Chad’s work at Cianbro includes supporting the growth of wind energy, biomass, and conventional power generation in the Northeast. 


    David Ertz – Senior Consultant, DBE Consulting 
    David provides construction, contract, and project management expertise to renewable energy projects. 


    John Ferland – President and Chief Operating Officer, Ocean Renewable Power Company (Board Secretary & Chair, Strategic Planning Committee)
    John leads ORPC’s project development, environmental permitting, and project licensing activities. He has over 30 years of experience in commercialization strategy for renewable energy companies, coastal resource management, and public policy. 


    Jim Katsiaficas – Director, Perkins Thompson 
    Jim advises public and private clients in the areas of municipal, land use, zoning and planning, environmental, and administrative law. His environmental work has included waste-to-energy facility, and water and sewer district representation; municipal landfill, uncontrolled hazardous substance site, and Superfund site closures; and the establishment of the governance structure for and representation of the Long Creek Watershed Management District. 


    Becky Metivier – Marketing Manager, Sage Data Security (Chair, Marketing & Membership Committee)
    Becky has provided marketing services for several local Maine environmental companies before joining Sage Data Security as their marketing manager. 


    Jeffrey Thaler – Professor of Energy Policy, Law & Ethics, Assistant University Council, University of Maine
    Jeff is the University of Maine’s first Visiting Professor of Energy Policy, Law & Ethics and also serves as Assistant University Counsel for environmental, energy, and sustainability projects and initiatives. He has been permitting counsel for on- and off-shore wind projects, hydro power, and wood-to-biofuel facilities. 


    Sarah Watts – Managing Environmental Scientist and Operations Manager, Tetra Tech
    Sarah has worked professionally in Maine as an environmental consultant since 2000. At Tetra Tech, Sarah oversees a group of 20 biologists, natural resource scientists, and planners, who primarily support project work in renewable and conventional energy generation and transmission. 

    The Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) is the state’s only energy, environmental, and clean technology business and economic development organization. E2Tech is a catalyst, a change agent, and a resource center that strives to promote Maine companies, support their robust and sustainable acceleration, and help them compete in national and global markets. E2Tech members include electric utilities and renewable energy companies, manufacturers, environmental engineers, emerging entrepreneurs, innovators and designers, as well as government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profits. For more information, please visit http://www.e2tech.org


  • Monday, December 04, 2017 3:28 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    Maine Company Accelerates Clean Energy Transition & Rapidly Grows Jobs

    Content provided by ReVision Energy

    As storms intensify and utility grid vulnerability increases, it's very good news that one of the first renewable energy microgrids in our region is being built at Brunswick Landing, powered by a massive solar array and anaerobic digester that converts agricultural waste into clean-burning fuel. Combining large-scale renewable energy with battery storage, heat pumps, LEDs and electric vehicle charging, the microgrid project is a community-scale, self-contained energy island emerging on the grounds of the former Naval Air Station that will provide greater energy resiliency and independence at lower cost than traditional energy sources.

    Portland-based ReVision Energy is leading the microgrid project as part of its mission to help northern New England transition from a fossil fuel based economy to a sustainable renewable energy based economy. "Every year Mainers export $5 billion from the local economy to import fossil fuels from away," said Phil Coupe, a co-founder of ReVision. "Every time we build a solar energy system here at home, it helps plug that massive hole in Maine's fiscal boat by keeping our energy dollars in the local economy."

    Since 2003 the company has grown from two guys in a garage in Liberty, ME to more than 200 employees in five locations in ME, NH and MA as more people and organizations invest in solar combined with hyper efficient, electric powered appliances to drastically reduce fuel consumption and carbon pollution. Two key factors are driving the company's growth, said Coupe:

    1. The cost of solar technology has dropped by more than 75% over the past 10 years, and batteries are headed in the same direction.

    2. Rapidly growing concern that 7 billion people burning fossil fuels in a closed atmosphere is utterly unsustainable as global energy demand is expected to grow 28% as population rises to 10 billion by 2050.

    "Solar electricity has become cost-competitive with traditional sources of energy and this is a game-changing tipping point that is accelerating the clean energy transition" said Coupe. Modern solar technology comes with a 25-year warranty and 40-year expected useful lifespan, making it an attractive investment option because it is one of the few building upgrades that can be done cash flow neutral as the revenue stream of electricity generated by solar pays for the initial capital cost over time.

    Maine's abundant solar resource, which is equal to that of Houston, TX and only 10% less than Florida's, delivers a strong economic and environmental return on solar energy projects that are being used to power homes, commercial buildings, schools and municipalities. A recent installation of 3,000 solar electric panels atop South Portland's capped landfill is powering 12% of the city's buildings while saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in utility costs and reducing carbon pollution from regional fossil fuel power plants.

    In addition to helping Mainers save money and protect the environment, ReVision Energy is working with a wide range of non profits and schools to solve problems beyond over-reliance on fossil fuels. In 2015 ReVision became a certified B-Corp, which means that the business is being operated with a goal of creating maximum positive societal impact rather than the traditional approach of maximizing shareholder returns. "The positive feedback from employees and customers has been astounding--converting to a B-Corp may have been one of the single best business decisions we've ever made," said Coupe. In October 2017 ReVision converted to a 100% employee-owned company as a way to share the company's financial success with the people working hard to make it happen.

    Consistently recognized as one of Maine's Best Places to Work, ReVision Energy has also built a sterling reputation for high quality installations and customer service, culminating in being named the #1 Rooftop Solar Contractor in New England by Solar Power Industry magazine.

    This holiday season ReVision Energy is partnering with a nationwide solar coop and a disaster relief agency to build portable emergency power units for the hardest hit areas of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The first 10 solar-powered trailers destined for Puerto Rico will be built at ReVision's newest 'decarbonization facility' in N. Andover, MA where volunteers will install solar panels, batteries, lights, power outlets and water purification systems. Once completed in the next month or two, the trailers will be shipped to Puerto Rico and then towed by SUV's to remote areas that have been without utility power and clean water for more than two months.

    "Our goal is to alleviate some of the massive human suffering that is taking place in Puerto Rico," said Coupe. "With more than 50% of the island still without power, it's going to take many months for people to get back on their feet and resume some semblance of normal living."

    ReVision Energy is an E2Tech Sustaining Steward and Phil Coupe is a Member of the E2Tech Board of Directors.

  • Monday, December 04, 2017 3:27 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)

    CHP in Maine. The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the University of Maine to lead one of eight regional partnerships dedicated to the promotion, technical support, and deployment of cost-effective and highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) technologies throughout the nation. UMaine, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and Watson Strategy Group, will oversee the CHP Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) center in the northeast region, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

    Microgrids in Maine. A recent devastating wind storm swept through Maine with 80 mph wind gusts and cut out power for more than a half million Mainers, earning it the distinction of being the largest power outage in Maine history.  Other states are working on creating more reliability and resilient electricity grids.  The Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee is holding meetings on LD 257, which seeks to promote and incorporate microgrids and other innovative energy technologies.

    Heating Oil in Maine. Maine’s winter heating season is in full swing and heating oil, kerosene, and propane prices are climbing.  Watch the Maine Governor’s Energy Office website for changes in fuel prices through March 2018.

    EVs in Maine. Electric charging stations are popping up all over Maine, including recent installations at E2Tech Members LL Bean and Hannaford. Now, you can charge up while you wind down at Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick. Tesla installed three charging stations at the brewery at Brunswick Landing, joining solar and an anaerobic digester as components of a burgeoning renewable energy center at Brunswick Landing.

    Environmental Excellence in Maine. Governor Paul R. LePage and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection announced the recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. The awards recognize businesses, public entities, and individuals for their extraordinary efforts to protect and improve Maine’s environment. E2Tech congratulates Pratt & Whitney and the City of Brewer for their awards, but sends a special shout-out to E2Tech co-founder and former Board Member James Atwell, Retired Senior Project Manager – Sevee & Maher Engineers. Inc. Throughout his 50-year career as a civil and environmental engineer, Jim has used his professional skills to make Maine a better place to work and live. 

    Governor's Energy Bill. The Governor's Technical Energy Advisor, Jim LaBrecque, announced on a radio show that the Governor is working on an energy bill for the upcoming legislative session to reduce oil use, decrease heating and transportation costs, and reduce CO2 through "real time pricing". 

    PUC Delays Solar Net Metering Change. The Maine Public Utilities Commission has decided to delay for four months the solar power net energy billing (aka net metering) rule that would gradually reduce the amount of credit for solar energy until the end of April 2018. The rule was originally slated to go into effect on January 1, 2018. 

  • Monday, December 04, 2017 2:50 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    E2Tech’s third annual Expo occurred on Thursday, November 16. This year’s Expo engaged private, public, and nonprofit stakeholders to help other organizations access the resources they need to promote their products, services, and technologies; accelerate their growth; compete in national and international markets; support a robust and innovative state environmental and energy market and workforce; and make Maine an innovation hub to start and grow a business. More than 350 people attended the Expo, in addition to our 30 speakers, 18 event sponsors, and 20 exhibitors. If you happened to miss a presenter or wanted to review a point spoken during the day, you can watch a recording of the Expo or review a specific presenter’s presentation on the Expo webpage. 

    E2Tech would like to thank everyone who attended, presented, sponsored, and exhibited at the 2017 Expo.


  • Friday, November 03, 2017 9:44 AM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    On November 16, the third annual E2TECH EXPO will be the premier environmental and energy event of the year, focused on innovation and business development! Investors and funders, policymakers, energy and environmental companies, and other innovation “enablers” are on tap to help attendees connect to what they need to grow and prosper – money, clients/customers, talent, public policy.

    E2Tech Expo 2017 will engage private, public, and non-profit stakeholders to help any size company or organization access the resources they need to:

    1. Promote their products, services, and technologies;
    2. Accelerate their growth;
    3. Compete in national and global markets;
    4. Support a robust and innovative state environmental and energy market and workforce; and
    5. Make Maine an innovation hub to start and grow a business.

    Don't miss out on valuable networking and the chance to learn more about the critical resources available to the energy, environmental, and cleantech sectors.  Please visit http://www.e2tech.org/Expo2017 for registration, sponsorship, and agenda information.

  • Friday, November 03, 2017 9:43 AM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    Energy efficiency does more than cut waste, combat climate change, and save money. It employs 1.9 million Americans, by far the largest sector in the U.S. clean economy. E4TheFuture collaborates with industry stakeholders to provide expert policy solutions, education, and advocacy with a pragmatic focus. They develop and advocate for federal, state, and local policy strategies by leveraging the four “E’s”:


    • Energy-Promoting clean, efficient, safe solutions
    • Economy-Growing a prosperous, low-carbon economy for the 22nd Century
    • Equity-Empowering all Americans to run their homes with clean, affordable energy
    • Environment-Restoring healthy air, water, and land


    Stephen Cowell has dedicated his career to achieving a strong and prosperous U.S. clean energy economy. He is an entrepreneur who has founded and directed several energy efficiency and renewable energy organizations, including Conservation Services Group (CSG) in 1984. Under Cowell’s leadership, CSG designed and implemented conservation and renewable energy programs for utilities, state agencies, and other entities nationwide, ultimately providing services to more than 3.2 million businesses and households. He helped to create and build the residential energy efficiency industry through sound public policy, legislation, and establishment of trade ally networks as well as delivery of cost-effective programs. In September 2017, Steve was honored by the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) with their Decade of Influence Award!

    Please visit http://www.e2tech.org/Expo2017 for registration, sponsorship, and agenda information.

  • Friday, November 03, 2017 9:34 AM | Alison Clift (Administrator)

     

    The Maine Technology Institute works with entrepreneurs, innovators, mature businesses, and institutions to move from the research and development phase to commercialization by providing funding, networking, and other opportunities. The Maine State Legislature established MTI in 1999 to support, promote, and stimulate technology research and development efforts leading to commercialization. Since MTI’s establishment, they have invested $180 million into 2,000 projects statewide while generating $900 million in matching private sector investments. They are currently accepting applications from Maine companies looking to invest in research and development equipment, infrastructure, and technology as part of a $45 million Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0 (MTAF 2.0) program. E2Tech has funding for grant writing support, including for MTAF 2.0. Contact Jeff Marks, jeffmarks@e2tech.org, if you are interested. 

    We greatly appreciate MTI's sponsorship of our Expo and continued support of E2Tech!

    Please visit http://www.e2tech.org/Expo2017 for registration, sponsorship, and agenda information.


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