• Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:21 PM | Melissa Winne (Administrator)



    In 2011, the Maine Legislature adopted a statutory goal to reduce oil use 30% by 2030. Maine consumes more heating oil per capita than any other state, making us susceptible to price volatility and fuel shortages. Mainers face many other heating issues, such as old, inefficient heating systems; poorly insulated and weatherized homes; and a long heating season. Maine is at a crossroads for heating and transportation energy policy, with some roads leading to long-term solutions and others accomplishing more short-term goals.



    Heating system ease of use and affordability are important considerations in developing a robust heating energy policy. Mainers, especially the growing elderly population, want their heating system to be simple and easy to use. They understandably do not want to carry fuel to their stoves, but instead want to set a thermostat and be comfortable all season long. For example, for wood pellets to be considered a viable heating option for homeowners, suppliers need to continue developing ways to make them more user-friendly. Pellet boilers with hopper-fed pellets are certainly a step in the right direction for this industry.

    Switching heating systems or even upgrading a system is often costly for the homeowner. Many Mainers are unable to afford to change their current heating system. However, financial assistance programs and additional education and outreach are options to more affordable heating.

    Having an easy and efficient system will not reduce one’s heating bill or reduce one’s fuel consumption if their house is poorly weatherized. Another Maine statutory goal is for 100% of homes and 50% of businesses to be weatherized by 2030. While this is an aggressive goal, weatherization assistance programs and policies are already in place to help reach it. New infrastructure, buildings, and heating systems may need to meet or exceed efficiency and weatherization standards and regulations to help reduce oil dependency and heating bills.

    As new technology is developed, and as more infrastructure is needed to accommodate the new technology and the increase in electrical demand, Maine will need an educated and trained workforce to meet this increased demand. And, as Mainers electrify their heating, Maine’s grid will need to be more resilient to ensure comfort and security year-round. Electric utilities will play a key role in ensuring heating electrification is done affordably, efficiently, and with transparency.


    Maine is a rural state, resulting in many vehicle miles traveled. Maine uses more energy per capita and motor fuel per capita for transportation than the United States average, which unsurprisingly, also results in higher transportation fuel expenditures. Just like heating, Mainers struggle with vehicle fuel price volatility. Reducing Maine’s oil dependency in the transportation sector involves Mainers moving more efficiently and increasing the use of alternative fuel vehicles. This can be challenging, as Maine is one of the least densely populated states in the country. Diminished housing affordability and availability can contribute to housing sprawl and strand workers and the elderly outside the reach of public transport and vital services. Increasing electric charging corridors, ride sharing programs, and public transportation routes are all potential options to deal with this issue while also reducing emissions.


    Transportation Energy Use Per Capita, Million Btu per capita, 2013
    (U.S. Department of Transportation)

    Motor Fuel Use Per Capita, Gallons Per Capita, 2013
    (U.S. Department of Transportation)

    Want to learn more about The Future of Fossil Fuels in Maine?
    Join E2Tech and the Governor's Energy Office on Thursday, October 19 from
    7:15 AM-12:00 PM at Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center.

  • Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:14 PM | Melissa Winne (Administrator)


    Bernstein Shur loves what they do and are passionate about every part of it. Their experienced, interdisciplinary energy practice helps clients throughout New England and around the world navigate every part of energy generation and distribution. As part of the legal team, they will ensure your energy project runs like a closed circuit: seamlessly, and with an uninterrupted flow. That way, when it’s finally time for you to flip the switch, everything just works.

    In response to the 1978 passage of PURPA, Maine began to restructure its energy markets. The origin of Bernstein Shur’s energy practice was in navigating through Maine’s restructuring process, as the market opened for independent generators to permit, build and operate generating facilities throughout the state.

    Since that time, they have represented almost every independent generator across the state, from hydro to biomass to waste-to-energy to wind to solar. They have always been on the cutting edge of energy issues in Maine, from the waste-to-energy facilities in the 1980s and 1990s, all the way to the present, in which their subsidiary successfully pairs fleets of vehicles with biogas throughout the country under the EPA’s RIN program, as their clients lead the nation in merchant transmission installations.

    While always looking to mitigate controversy, they specialize in highly controversial energy development projects – Maine has a unique political culture, and their lawyers, in addition to being technically proficient, focus on the practical, the cost-effective, and the human element of obtaining their clients’ goals. Having seen every possible type of objection to an energy project, they pride themselves on being adept at diffusing tension, creative problem solving, prioritizing legal issues, and being efficient with limited development dollars to achieve a financeable project.

    While Bernstein Shur will zealously defend their clients’ projects and priorities (and have successfully litigated on their behalf), they are, at their core, deal lawyers – they want to get your project a “yes” – from the public, from the regulators, from your vendors, your lenders, and your investors.

    In addition to subject matter expertise, they are experts in collaboration. Their level of experience affords them with close, positive, working relationships with in-house counsel, outside counsel, other local counsel, and consultants. In their team you will find a cohesive team of dedicated, fun individuals who love their particular role in Maine and New England’s energy markets.

    Bernstein Shur joined E2Tech as a Sustaining Leader in 2017.

    Learn more about our Sustaining Partner Program!


  • Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:03 PM | Melissa Winne (Administrator)


    MTI is now accepting applications from Maine organizations looking to invest in R&D equipment, infrastructure, and technology as part of a $45 million bond referendum. MTI plans to distribute about half of the funds through a series of Lightning Rounds before the end of 2017. Interested applicants must meet all program requirements, including being a Maine organization; providing at least a 1:1 cost share for the project; using the fund for infrastructure (capital construction, improvements, or equipment costs); be associated with research, development, and commercialization innovation; and be within or intersect with one or more of Maine's seven technology sectors. The application includes submitting a 10-slide project pitch deck to MTI's online portal. Slide decks will be accepted and considered monthly through December 8, 2017. 

    For more information, please visit the MTI Website.

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:54 AM | Melissa Winne (Administrator)


    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that Hurricane Harvey significantly disrupted the oil and petroleum product supply chains. Inputs to Gulf Coast refineries dropped by 34% between August 21 and September 1, 2017. Texas is home to 31% of the United States' refining capacity, supplying petroleum products to the Gulf Coast, East Coast, Midwest, and international markets. Hurricane Harvey caused many refineries in the region to reduce or shut down production. The Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston to New York Harbor and connects 29 refineries and 267 distribution terminals while carrying 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, was forced to reduce shipping amounts and frequency due to low petroleum supplies. These disruptions caused gasoline drawdowns all along the East Coast and gasoline prices to increase. While gas prices typically rise for travel on Labor Day Weekend, the prices were exacerbated by Hurricane Harvey's impact to the supply chain.




    Two weeks later, the disrupted supply chain hindered people trying to escape Hurricane Irma in Florida. Closed shipping ports led to fuel shortages and high gas prices which prevented many people from being able to smoothly evacuate from Irma's path. Even though the Secretary of Homeland Security waived the Jones Act temporarily allowing foreign-flag vessels to bring fuel from other eatern U.S. ports to South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico to reduce fuel shortages. At the height of Hurricane Irma, 59% of Florida customers experienced power outages. 




    How Did Climate Change Play a Role?

    While climate scientists and meteorologists are still running attribution studies to determine the level of impact greenhouse gases had on Hurricane Harvey and Irma, other factors can be assessed more easily. NASA and NOAA were both measuring the ocean temperature across the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico along the hurricane paths. Both bodies of water had surface temperatures of 30ºC/86ºF, which is warm enough to feed a category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane, sustaining 130 mph winds, while Hurricane Irma broke the record for longest sustained category 5 winds (over 157mph) as it crossed the Caribbean islands, sustaining 185 mph winds. 

    Hurricane Harvey's maximum storm surge was 12 feet above ground level, while other areas of South Texas experienced 3-6 feet storm surge. Southeast Texas experienced high levels of rain, with some areas getting over 40 inches within 48 hours. The maximum rainfall during Harvey was 51.88 inches, which broke the North American single rainfall event record. 

    Hurricane Irma stretched from the east coast to the west coast of Florida, causing water to recede from the coast on the west, while causing an average 4 feet of storm surge on the southeast coast and seven feet of storm surge on the northeast coast. However, that storm surge is on top of the 10-12 inches of sea level rise along Florida's east coast in the last century, allowing additional areas to be flooded.

    Another record Hurricanes Harvey and Irma created was having two category 4 hurricanes make landfall in the United States in the same year. Only 27 category 4 or stronger hurricanes have been documented in the United States since 1851, including Harvey and Irma. Hurricane season begins June 1 and continues until November 30 each year, so there is still plenty of time for additional devastating hurricanes to hit. Axios is reporting estimates of Hurricane Harvey having caused between $65-$75 billion worth of damage, while Irma is estimated to have caused $50 billion, together totaling around $120 billion in hurricane damages for 2017 so far (this does not include damage estimates for Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands). When adjusted to today's prices, Hurricane Katrina (2005) is still the most expensive hurricane at $160 billion. 

    While climate change may impact each hurricane differently, we can all be sure there will be more storms of Harvey and Irma's magnitude, with more records broken in the future as our climate systems continue to change. We can already see this occurring as Hurricane Maria is causing catastrophic damage to Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands as a Category 5 hurricane, when just weeks prior they were hit with devastating Hurricane Irma, also a Category 5 hurricane. 2017 is the sixth year on record to have multiple category 5 hurricanes, with additional storms currently gaining strength in the Atlantic.

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:00 AM | Melissa Winne (Administrator)


    Maine currently spends only about 1% of its total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on research and development (R&D), which ranks the State 37th nationally (Measures of Growth 2017). How can Maine increase its R&D support and activity through growth and maintenance of its infrastructure, capacities, and resources? How do we ensure a reliable stream of public and private investment into R&D generally, and "energy" R&D specifically? How can Maine develop, attract, and retain a workforce with skills that match the needs of Maine's current and future employers? And, is there a role for the State Government to play in developing policies and programs that support R&D, demonstration/pilot programs, and commercialization? These are some of the questions the Maine Governor's Energy Office (GEO) and E2Tech are grappling with as they develop a Maine Energy Planning Roadmap.

    The GEO is engaging private, public, and non-profit stakeholders to develop a Roadmap and has convened four Task Forces to help identify technology limitations, market barriers, and political and policy issues; develop action items and strategies to address these issues; and prioritize the most important actions to achieve the State of Maine's energy goals. 

    1. Energy Innovation
    2. Heating
    3. Policy Evaluation
    4. Transportation
    This is the first of a series of articles in Fall 2017 on these issues and potential ways to address challenges and drive solutions. 

    Research, Development, Investment, & Workforce

    In 2017 the Maine Innovation Economy Action Plan (Maine Technology Institute/ Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board) recommended a "three-legged" approach to strengthen its innovation-based economy:
    1. Growing R&D Capacity: Increasing it's R&D activity through growth and maintenance of the State's R&D infrastructure, capacities, and resources;
    2. Increasing Human Capital: Developing, attracting, and retaining a workforce with skills that match the needs of Maine's current and future employers; and
    3. Cultivating a Culture of Entrepreneurship: Continuing to develop and cultivate the education, mentoring, financial, and cultural supports for the successful emergence and growth of entrepreneurial and innovation enterprises. 
    Under the Action Plan, the State will "encourage innovation based on technology, market, and/or business model, as well as encouraging enterprises to build on Maine's unique competitive assets."

    Should the Maine Energy Roadmap incorporate this approach as it pertains to energy policy? Maine's energy market faces challenges. Although relatively large in area, Maine has a small population and lacks large-scale energy customers and investors. As a result, Maine energy and technology companies often individually lack the ability to scale up to meet market needs. Neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont face similar situations. Some companies report that they have poor access to investors. Venture capital investment per capita in Maine is only $5.08 in all sectors - significantly lower that regional peers Vermont ($22.06), New Hampshire ($105.90) and Massachusetts ($430.00).

    Fortunately, for a relatively small, rural state, we have significant energy support organizations that can help implement the recommendations in the final Roadmap:

     Support Area  Resources
    Business Development, Accelerators, and Incubators Maine Accelerates Growth, Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine Small Business Development Centers
    Economic Development Maine and Company, Maine Economic Growth Council, Maine International Trade Center, Maine Rural Development Authority, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
    Educational Institutions Maine Community College System; University of Maine System; and private colleges such as Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, and Unity
    Energy Efficiency, Environmental, and Renewable Energy Groups Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
    Government Agencies Efficiency Maine Trust, Maine Department of Economic & Community Development, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine PUC, U.S. DOE
    Information & Outreach Resources E2Tech, GreenEnergyMaine.com, Maine Energy Education Program
    Investment Community Coastal Enterprises, Inc., Finance Authority of Maine, Maine Angels, Maine banks and credit unions, Small Enterprise Growth Fund
    Manufacturers, Natural Gas, Construction  Bath Iron Works, Cianbro, Fairchild Semiconductor, LL Bean, Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Reed & Reed, Maine Manufacturers Association, Summit Natural Gas
    Regional Partners InterACTION, Environmental Business Council of New England, Northeast Clean Energy Council
    Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Companies  Energy efficiency contractors, Maine Energy Systems, Ocean Renewable Power Company, Pika Energy, ReVision Energy
    Trade Associations Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine Renewable Energy Association, Maine Energy Marketers Association
    Utilities  Emera Maine, Central Maine Power, Maine Natural Gas, Bangor Natural Gas, Unitil, Summit


    Innovation & Market Competitiveness

    The general public in Maine is typically unaware of the economic, environmental, and job creation benefits of energy and technology innovation and of the policies that govern the energy sector. It is often challenging to build political support for the sector (and/or public sector investment). How do we develop a Roadmap that encourages support for energy technology innovation and communicates the benefits of a strong energy production, manufacturing, and service sector, and strategies for policy and public/private partnerships, support, and investment to improve public awareness?

    Maine's forest products industry is often held up as an example of where energy policy can help drive innovation. Maine's competitive advantages in this sector are evident: ample wood resources, a strong forestry sector, patented technologies, a university research center, established manufacturing capacity for biomass and biofuels, and potential ports for export to Europe. As the most forested state in the nation and one with a deep forestry industry, Maine has a natural resource-based competitive advantage in wood-based products for heating and power generation. Maine's well-established forest products industry is ideally prepared for further expansion of biomass and biofuels energy with unmatched infrastructure, equipment, knowledge, management practices, and a trained labor force. The Roadmap may be an opportunity to engage pulp and paper mills, loggers, wood pellet manufacturers, boiler distributors and installers, regional, economic, and development officials, investors, and policymakers to use the Roadmap to develop a policy and promotion strategy for this industry and the companies that serve it. As one of the first tests of the Roadmap and its application to Maine's energy sector, the Roadmap could be applied to the electric and thermal biomass industry to promote Maine and New Englnad as a regional hub for clean energy businesses and technologies, including their development and commercialization, manufacturing facilities and other partner businesses and/or organizations with experience in designing, financing, developing, and constructing biomass energy infrastructure and customer bases that are consistent with the assets in Maine and throughout New England. 

    Maine is perceived to have a regulatory and business environment that is slow to embrace innovation or new approaches. From a policy perspective, regulatory actions move slowly and energy incentives are inconsistent. In addition, an analysis of "2017's Most & Least Energy-Expensive States" by personal finance website WalletHub ranked Maine as the seventh most expensive energy state, including price of electricity, natural gas, motor fuel, and heating oil. The study found that in the United States, energy costs account for between 5% and 22% of families' total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range (Maine is a relatively poor and rural state).

    A 2014 MTI report finds that the alternative energy sector grew nearly 12% since 2007 and is growing faster than the other technology sectors in Maine. Maine's traditional economy is based on forestry, fishing, and agriculture. Manufacturing industries like paper production and textiles thrived until recently. Alternative energy, on the other hand, is an emerging sector of the Maine economy, made up of firms and organizations engaged in activities ranging from renewable energy production and generation to technology system distribution and installation to weatherization and efficient building construction and retrofits. Maine is well positioned to play a key role in developing expertise in the sector. The University of Maine launched the nation's first offshore floating wind turbine. Ocean Renewable Power Company in Eastport is operating the first grid-connected tidal power system in the Northern Hemisphere. Maine has 17 wind farms that can generate 901 MW of power, enough to supply 145,000 homes. These wind farms generated 1,614 thousand MWh in 2016. The State has extensive hydropower capacity that can generate 750 MW of clean energy. In 2016, Maine generated 2,968 thousand MWh of hydroelectric power. Thermal biomass systems take advantage of Maine's significant forestry industry and the use of wood pellet systems can reduce heating bills by an average of 40% while creating jobs and keeping investment dollars in the State. Even Maine's oil industry is increasingly engaged by designing and maintaining boilers with higher energy efficiencies and using less oil to produce more heat!

    The growing demand for energy resource, technologies, products, and services, as well as global efforts to combat climate change, provide opportunities for Maine's knowledge, skills, and capabilities. Understanding how the Maine labor market is changing is an important component of effective public policy decisions and workforce training initiatives. Also, capturing innovation and attracting investments through a coordinated entrepreneurial ecosystem is critical for startups and mature companies alike.

    The case for a new "Energy Innovation Policy" rests not just with the entrepreneurial and startup community. The case for a reliable electricity generation and transmission and distribution system may rest on growth in the innovation sector, specifically incorporating distributed and grid-scale energy storage markets and solutions to the intermittency of wind and solar - what happens when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow? On-site batteries and power control systems, emerging technologies, cost trends, and the rise of a robust electric vehicle and infrastructure market will impact how Maine developers, utilities, and customers develop and operate storage systems for variable generation and microgrids, smart grids, and other innovations. And, electric utilities like CMP and Emera Maine are working to improve reliability of the grid and implementing pilot programs (e.g., heat pumps, voltage optimization). 

    Energy Innovation Task Force

    On Thursday, July 20, the GEO and E2Tech hosted an Energy Innovation Task Force meeting; below is a brief outline of some key take-aways:

    • Role of State Government: The State’s role should be long-term planning and eliminating barriers to commercialization by minimizing policy uncertainty, which can create business uncertainty and investment risk. 
    • Energy Policy: Existing state policies do not touch on innovation; it is more focused on integrating renewables. We need a new way to engage in innovation and bring products and services to market that help Maine’s economy. Maine should be technology agnostic in funding and regulations.
    • Electrification: How do we fund the infrastructure needed to increase the electrical load from transportation and heating electrification?  A durable and predictable funding source needs to be identified to realistically address this issue.
    • Competitive Advantages: New England has high energy costs but Maine‘s renewable sources can be a competitive market advantage.
    • Incorporating New Technology: Innovation and energy storage can play a market role and provide other services to the grid at a consistent value.
    • Workforce: Training and education gaps in Maine’s workforce need to be addressed.
    • Maine Technology Institute (MTI): MTI is an excellent example of productive State funding for research and development (R&D) and has undergone significant improvements recently through internal planning and restructuring. 
  • Monday, September 18, 2017 1:21 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    Thursday, November 16 from 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM at University of Southern Maine-Portland

    The third annual E2TECH EXPO will be the premier environmental and energy event of the year! Federal and state agencies, policymakers, energy and environmental companies, and other innovation “enablers” are on tap to advise attendees on strategies for Maine’s economic and business development future. E2Tech Expo 2017 will engage private, public, and non-profit stakeholders to help both startups and established companies access the resources they need to:

    1) Promote their products, services, and technologies;
    2) Accelerate their growth;
    3) Compete in national and global markets; and
    4) Support a robust and innovative state environmental and energy market and workforce and 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. More information will be posted at http://www.e2tech.org/. For information on sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, contact Jeff Marks at jeffmarks@e2tech.org. 


  • Monday, September 18, 2017 1:20 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)



    Modern Grid Partners is a utility consulting firm that provides business and technology expertise to their customers’ operations, projects, and future grid goals. As a small and focused consulting firm, Modern Grid Partners is a nimble team of utility experts dedicated to successful implementation of Smart Grid technology. Modern Grid Partners was founded in 2015 with the goal of becoming a trusted advisor to their utility partners, with its corporate office located in Portland, Maine. Modern Grid Partners has steadily grown since inception and holds multiple contracts with utilities in the United States and Canada. 

     Modern Grid Partners has supported forward thinking utilities across North America with the successful planning and deployment of Smart Grid and Water related systems and technologies. Based on their team’s expansive experiences, they know the people, processes, and technologies required for successful advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) implementation. This includes a deep understanding of the equipment life cycle, operating costs, operational savings, revenue cash flow impacts, and return on investments.

     Modern Grid Partners is passionate about helping their utility clients and the industry embrace emerging technologies, drive value in renewables integration, and optimize the delivery of AMI solutions. Each of their consultants has more than fifteen years of direct utility expertise. As a trusted advisor and utility partner, they work with their clients to evaluate both the technical and organizational performance of new technologies, processes, and project implementations. Modern Grid Partners is proud of their depth of talent, deep domain utility knowledge, and breadth of experience to lead and integrate AMI from start to finish.

    Modern Grid Partners becomes part of the planning and deployment teams. They work together to deliver results through business case development, infrastructure strategy and design, CIS integration, RFP development, and vendor evaluations. 

    The alignment of business and technology expertise to support a utilities operation, projects, and future goals is a challenge all electric companies face in 2017. By bringing together engineers, business consultants, and project managers, all with smart grid expertise, a more reliable grid can be achieved. Choosing Modern Grid Partners means choosing global expertise, localized knowledge, and a resume full of success with AMI, Telecom, GIS, CIS, OMS, SCADA, and other emerging smart grid solutions. From early stage planning to project closeout, Modern Grid Partners can help align the strategic vision to drive new levels of connectivity and IT/OT convergence that the future grid will be based upon.

    Modern Grid Partners became a founding E2Tech Sustaining Leader in 2017.

    Learn more about our Sustaining Partner Program!


  • Monday, September 18, 2017 1:19 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    MTI is holding free TechStart and Seed Grant workshops in early October. These grants are for entrepreneurs and companies who are developing innovative products, processes, or services.  The TechStart Grants (up to $5,000) can be used to conduct market research, develop a business plan, and file for patent protections. The Seed Grants (up to $25,000) can be used to develop a prototype, demonstrate proof of concept, and conduct field trials.  For more information and to register for this free event, visit http://www.mainetechnology.org/workshops.

    Portland Workshop

    Wednesday, October 4 12:00-2:00 PM

    Bangor Workshop

    Thursday, October 5 12:00-2:00 PM

    Webinar

    Wednesday, October 11 2:00-3:30 PM


  • Monday, September 18, 2017 1:19 PM | Alison Clift (Administrator)


    On June 13, 2017, a general fund bond issue for investments in research, development, and commercialization was approved by voters in a statewide vote. That bond included $45,000,000 to be distributed by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) “in the form of grants to support infrastructure, equipment, and technology upgrades in the following targeted technology sectors: biotechnology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing technology” (Maine Office of the Secretary of State).

    MTI plans to distribute about half of the bond funds through a series of Lightning Rounds before the end of 2017. Interested applicants must meet all program requirements, including being a Maine organization; providing at least a 1:1 cost share for the project; using the funds for infrastructure (capital construction, improvements, or equipment costs); be associated with research, development, and commercialization innovation; and be within or intersect with one or more of Maine’s seven technology sectors. The application involves registering proposals on MTI’s online portal and submitting a 10-slide project pitch deck. Slide decks will be accepted after October 2, 2017 and will be considered monthly through December 8, 2017.

    For more information on MTI’s Technology Asset Fund program requirements visit: https://www.mainetechnology.org/program/maine-technology-asset-fund-2-0/


  • Monday, August 21, 2017 10:00 AM | Melissa Winne (Administrator)


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

    The fate of solar "net energy billing" was decided amongst a cluster of constitutional, political, and parliamentary maneuvers. Mining regulations survived after years of dueling advocacy campaigns thrust the issue to the top of environmental and business legislative agendas. Small wins for recycling, clean water, and renewable portfolio standards occurred alongside defeats of bills pertaining to on- and offshore wind projects, building code standards, and plastic bag moratoriums. Biomass, microgrids, large-scale hydro, and arsenic testing live to fight another day in the 2nd half of the legislative session in 2018. 

    The following list highlights the status of a representative list of energy and environmental bills. For more information about bills' status, contact Jeff Marks at jeffmarks@e2tech.org.

    Bills that passed:

    • LD56 "An Act to Include Milliliter and Smaller Liquor Bottles in the Laws Governing Returnable Containers"
    • LD 454 "An Act to Ensure Safe Drinking Water for Maine Families"
    • LD 803 "An Act to Improve Transparency in the Electricity Supply Market"
    • LD 820 "An Act to Protect Maine's Clean Water and Taxpayers from Mining Pollution"
    • LD 1061 "An Act to Increase Investment and Regulatory Stability in the Electric Industry"
    • LD 1151 "An Act to Allow Promotional Allowances by Public Utilities"
    • LD 1313 "An Act to Establish Energy Policy In Maine"
    Bills that died:
    • LD 57 "An Act to Phase Out the Use of Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags" (veto not overridden)
    • LD 529 "An Act to Ensure Resiliency of the Maine Electrical Grid" (veto not overridden)
    • LD 901 "An Act to Amend the Laws Governing the Determination of a Wind Energy Development's Effect on the Scenic Character of Maine's Special Places (veto not overridden)
    • LD 1062 "An Act to Expand the Availability of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Maine" (veto not overridden)
    • LD 1262 "An Act to Protect Monhegan Island by Limiting Wind Turbines (unanimous "Ought Not to Pass" report from the Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology)
    • LD 1392 "An Act to Allow Municipalities to Opt Not to Enforce the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code" ("Ought Not to Pass" report was accepted in both the House and Senate)
    • LD 1504 "An Act to Modernize Rates for Small-Scale Distributed Generation" (veto not overridden)
    • LD 1513 "An Act to Provide for Affordable Long-Term Energy Prices in Maine" (unanimous "Ought Not to Pass" report from the Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology)
    Bills to be carried over to the next session:
    • LD 40 "An Act to Strengthen Requirements for Water Testing in Schools"
    • 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"
    • LD 532 "An Act to Remove the 100-Megawatt Limit on Hydroelectric Generators Under the Renewable Resources Law"
    • LD 656 "An Act to Improve the Ability of Maine Companies to Manufacture and Market Bioplastics
    • LD 1224 "An Act to Allow for Greater Energy Competition in Maine by Amending the Law Governing Electric Generation or Generation-Related Assets by Affiliates"
    • 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 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"
    The 2nd half of the 128th Legislative Session begins in January 2018.

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