• Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    On Thursday, May 24, Alexendra Dunn, the new Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 Administrator, visited several locations in Maine to meet with Mainers and discuss important local environmental issues. She concluded her visit by speaking to E2Tech's network at the University of Southern Maine's Portland campus about this administration’s approach to directing the regional office. Administrator Dunn highlighted the following topics, among others:

    • EPA Region 1 will host the first PFOA/PFOS chemical summit open to the public at the Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire.
    • Innovative solutions are key to solving our regional environmental problems. 
    • Administrator Dunn is exploring ways to run the office as effectively and efficiently as possible.
    • They are listening! Administrator Dunn will follow the lead of the states to develop environmental priorities. She is interested in continuing to meet directly with the states and will be back to Maine soon.

    Administrator Dunn also announced that the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) letters of interest deadline has been extended to July 31, 2018. The WIFIA program has a budget of $5.5 billion to distribute and will finance up to 49% of a water infrastructure project. More information about the WIFIA program can be found at www.epa.gov/wifia.

    The EPA Region 1 office is hiring! Visit the EPA website to search for positions through USAJobs.gov.

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:27 AM | Anonymous

    CEI Wicked Fast Microloans

    Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is offering expedited microloans designed for existing and start-up business owners. Eligible applicants can borrow up to $25,000 for working capital, equipment purchases, or to refinance existing higher cost debt. CEI makes the loan decision within three business days from a 2-page application

    CLICK HERE to access all CEI business financing options.

    Data Innovation Project

    The Data Innovation Project is accepting applications for Fall 2018 Data Clinics in September, October, and November. These data clinics are a FREE opportunity for organizations to receive two hours of focused, one-on-one technical assistance around data or performance measurement related issues. 

    CLICK HERE to apply to one of the clinics.

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2018 5:22 PM | Anonymous

    One of the many side effects of climate change is rising sea levels. In the last 100 years, sea level has increased 0.6 feet in Portland, while Eastport’s sea level has increased by 0.7 feet. Sea level can rise due to thermal expansion (the ocean gets warmer and expands), volumetric increases (water added to the ocean from melting land-based ice sheets like Antarctica and Greenland), and subsidence (where coastal land sinks or settles). Maine's natural features at risk include bluffs, tidal flats, salt marshes, freshwater wetlands, beaches, dunes, and coastal aquifers. 

    Much of Maine's population is at risk of being directly affected by the rising sea levels. In 2010, 63% of the Maine population lived in a coastal shoreline county and Maine ranked 8th in the country for the number of seasonal housing units in coastal shoreline counties. From 1980 to 2016, Maine experienced $11 billion worth of damage from coastal natural disasters. In addition to the natural disaster expenses, Maine’s economy will suffer as water levels rise and shorefront properties become inhabitable, public infrastructure becomes stranded or flooded, tourism is affected by changes in beaches and other shorefront parks, the fishing industry shifts harvest species due to habitat loss and species migration, and as other challenges and changes arise. 

    There are a few ways Maine can address the impacts of sea level rise, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions at local, state, regional, and national levels; strategically investing in new public infrastructure that takes future sea level predictions into account; creating public policy and development regulations in regards to flood zones and storm surge levels; and investing in sea level adaptation strategies.

    Climate scientists have identified three main strategies for adapting to sea level rise: fortify, accommodate, or retreat. There are two methods of fortification, hard and soft structures. Hard fortification structures include seawalls, bulkheads, stilts, and other barriers to protect against erosion and rising water levels. However, these hard fortification structures can magnify the effects of sea level rise when installed incorrectly or to properties without the hard fortification methods. Soft fortification methods include sand dunes, salt marshes, flood plains, and other forms of natural protection. Beach renourishment can be a more temporary form of soft fortification but is costly and often needs to be repeated every 5-10 years. Accommodation approaches include raising land and building elevation, installing desalination systems, creating additional drainage systems, and implementing alarm systems to allow upgraded functions to continue in the same location. Retreat involves relocating or abandoning current infrastructure. A site’s current characteristics will influence which strategy makes the most sense economically.

    To learn more about sea level rise, interact with NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer.

    Join E2Tech and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute for an
    interactive presentation to explore the data behind sea level rise
    in Maine's coastal communities on February 28th!
    CLICK HERE to learn more and register today (space is limited).

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2018 5:13 PM | Anonymous

    Electric Vehicles in Maine

    Discussions around electric vehicles continue in Maine, particularly in light of the recent introduction of the Governor LePage-backed bill (LD 1806) that would impose a registration surcharge of $150 for gas-electric hybrid vehicles and $250 for all-electric vehicles. If passed, these proposed surcharge fees would be the highest in the country. In a recent Portland Press Herald Article, a Maine Department of Transportation representative stated that this fee is needed in order to assist in covering the cost of repairing roads, which is currently funded through the gasoline tax. State conservation groups and hybrid and electric vehicle owners have expressed concerns that the fee discourages the purchase of these vehicles without effectively addressing the gap in funding for maintaining and repairing roads throughout the State.

    Electric Vehicles in New England, 2015 (EIA)

     State  EVs Per 1 Million People  EVs in Use
     Connecticut  358 1,284
     Maine  182  242
     Massachusetts  419 2,846
     New Hampshire  258  343
     Rhode Island  131  138
     Vermont  503  315
     New England Average  351  861
     United States Average  672  4,309

    In 2015, Maine ranked 5th in New England for electric vehicles per capita and 4th for plug-in electric hybrids per capita.

    VW Settlement

    The Maine Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Protection, and the Governor’s Energy Office are in the process of implementing 15% of the VW settlement (over $3 million) towards electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the State. Installing travel corridors are first priority. While Maine itself does not have many electric vehicles, the tourism industry has seen steady revenue and increases in visitors over the last four years. These visitors are coming from Canadian Providences, other New England states, the mid-Atlantic, and from overseas. Those visitors driving to Maine are increasingly coming by electric vehicle, requiring Maine to meet increased charging infrastructure needs to continue tourism revenue and visitor growth. 

    Tesla Destination Charging - Host Sites Needed

    Tesla has partnered with ReVision Energy to install Tesla wall and pedestal level 2 chargers (minimum of four chargers per site) across New England. The selected hosts will receive a valuable charging amenity for little or no cost and cross-marketing from Tesla to attract customers. ReVision is looking for ideas for host locations, including but not limited to: large employers, retail outlets, sports venues, hotels, resorts, restaurants, golf courses, hospitals, large parking lots, recreation destinations, ski resorts, breweries, municipalities, and nonprofits. If you have an idea for a host site, or if your business is interested, please contact Barry Woods, Director of Electric Vehicle Innovation of ReVision Energy at (207) 494-4440. 

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2018 5:11 PM | Anonymous

    Content provided by Cianbro.

    Cianbro is one of the nation’s largest, most diverse, successful, 100-percent employee-owned (30th largest in the United States), open shop, construction and construction services companies. They are currently operating in five markets across more than 40 states and employ over 4,000 team members. Cianbro manages and self-performs work in five markets: Building; Oil, Gas & Chemical; Infrastructure; Power & Energy; and Industrial & Manufacturing.  

    The firm safely and efficiently plans, manages, and constructs many technically complex, historical, and environmentally sensitive projects for a wide variety of public and private clients. Cianbro’s total commitment to safety is enthusiastically supported by its team members, and the organization has been named the Healthiest and Safest Company in America by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Cianbro and its team members have been nationally recognized as the Contractor of the Year by the Associated Builders and Contractors of America, and has also received awards for Excellence in Construction, Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement, and Engineering Excellence. The firm was ranked 103rd on the list of the Top 400 Contractors in America in 2017, tabulated by Engineering News-Record (ENR) based on contracting revenue.

    Cianbro has a long history of completing projects that support energy and environmental sectors in Maine and around the nation. A segment of the company’s large workforce focuses on building and maintaining Maine’s bulk transmission, substations, and distribution for all major utilities in the region, in an environmentally stringent manner. Cianbro has completed projects in many of Maine’s hydropower generation facilities in order to improve operational efficiency and lessen environmental impacts, e.g. the construction of fish lifts and the rehabilitation of turbines and generators. The company is also the constructor for some of Maine’s most challenging wind and solar power projects; the most recent example being the completion and commissioning of the largest solar producing energy facility in Maine and within the jurisdiction of ISO New England. 

    The Pittsfield Solar Project consists of 40,300 solar panels erected on 57 acres of a 115-acre parcel owned by Cianbro off Route 2 in Pittsfield. The Pittsfield Solar Project has the capacity to send up to 9.9 megawatts of AC electricity to the grid, enough to supply 6,500 homes at peak generation. Cianbro submitted its application for the solar facility to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in the autumn of 2015 under the PUC’s Community Based Renewables Energy Program. Following the award, Cianbro crews broke ground for the facility at the beginning of August in 2017. The Pittsfield Solar Project went online, producing energy commercially, on December 23rd of 2017 – a rapid five-month completion. 

    Cianbro is an E2Tech Sustaining Steward and Chad Allen is a Member of the E2Tech Board of Directors. 

    To learn more about the E2Tech Sustaining Partner program, visit our membership page.

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2018 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) closed the Lightning Round of the Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0 (MTAF 2.0) in December. MTI accepted applications in the form of a 10-slide pitch deck from October 2 through December 8, 2017. They received 183 proposals seeking a total of $381 million in funding. Maine voters approved $45 million in general fund bond dollars in June 2017 to fund the MTAF 2.0 program. 

    Companies from all parts of Maine, out-of-state, and out-of-country applied to the MTAF 2.0 program seeking individual funding requests between $18,000 to $45 million. These funds are to support R&D infrastructure, equipment, and technology investments in one or more of Maine’s seven technology sectors. 

    MTI awarded funding to Vets First Choice; C & L Aerospace Holdings, LLC; Good To-Go, LLC; Hyperlite Mountain Gear; and The Jackson Laboratory from the first Lightning Round application pool for a combined $24.4 million. A second Lightning Round will be announced by MTI to award the remaining $20.5 million. 

  • Friday, December 08, 2017 8:01 AM | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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

E2Tech: Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine

Find E2Tech:

ThinkTank Coworking, Pepperell Center
40 Main St, Biddeford ME 04005
07.423.8260   //   info@e2tech.org

Mail E2Tech:

P.O. Box 8517  Portland, ME 04104

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