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  • Tuesday, August 13, 2019 1:06 PM | Adelaide Taylor (Administrator)

    People from different fields were encouraged to connect at the summer gathering on an Old Port rooftop.

    BY AMY PARADYSZ


    The Environmental & Energy Technology of Council of Maine, better known as E2Tech, lucked out with a perfect evening for a summer social July 24 on the fifth-story rooftop of Old Port consulting firm Burns & McDonnell, a member of the council.

    “E2Tech is the leader in the state bringing together engineers, attorneys and people working in these fields who are all interested in making Maine a better place,” said longtime member Joshua Rosen, a Maine Law student. “It’s a great opportunity to learn and to network.”

    Martin Grohman, who came on board as the nonprofit’s executive director this past Earth Day, April 22, shuffled a pocketful of business cards he collected at the social, finding just the right connection for various members as they stopped to chat with him.

    “We do not want all the scientists in a corner talking with other scientists. We want business people talking with scientists and salespeople, and economic investors,” Grohman said. “We want to see clean technology investment in Maine, and that’s what it takes.”

    E2Tech has 1,500 members with interests in sustainable, renewable and clean energy, such as solar, wind and geothermal, as well as everything from cleaner sewer systems to electric vehicles. Board members come from organizations such as Efficiency Maine, ReVision Energy, Sunrun, Tyler Technologies and Ocean Renewable Power Company.

    “There’s a lot of innovation happening on the environmental and energy fronts,” said Juliet Browne, an energy and environmental lawyer with Verrill Dana, the event sponsor.

    “We, the people here and around us, continue to endeavor to find a better way, a cleaner way to do business,” said Andrew McMullin of host firm Burns & McDonnell.

    “And it’s kind of fun going to these things,” said John Robinson of RE/MAX commercial brokerage.

    Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at amyparadysz@gmail.com.


    https://www.pressherald.com/2019/08/11/society-notebook-e2tech-facilitates-sociability-in-the-name-of-sustainability/

  • Thursday, August 01, 2019 8:02 AM | Adelaide Taylor (Administrator)

    10 leaders for Maine’s economic future


    Maine faces a well-publicized demographic challenge: the population isn’t growing, and it’s getting older. Yet Maine’s economy has grown through a dedicated core of leaders, just a few of whom are highlighted here. There are others who have had an impact and others waiting in the wings, but here are 10 people making an impact on Maine’s economy right now and for the foreseeable future.


    Betsy Biemann: CEO, Coastal Enterprises Inc.

    PHOTO / TIM GREENWAY

    Betsy Biemann

    A Harvard graduate who started her career as a Rotary fellow in Kenya, Biemann has helped CEI make a seamless transition after the retirement of its founder. The nonprofit has provided more than $31 million in financing to 148 small businesses in the past two years alone and stoked economic development in Maine’s rural areas.

     

    Yellow Light Breen: President and CEO, Maine Development Foundation

    PHOTO / MAINE DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION

    Yellow Light Breen

    Grew up in northern Maine, where his parents were back-to-landers. Now, after a banking career at Bangor Savings Bank, he serves as president and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation, influencing the state’s economic policy.

    Joshua Broder: CEO, Tilson

    PHOTO / TIM GREENWAY

    Joshua Broder

    In the past decade, Broder has built up a company that puts up cell towers and equipment. He’s hired hundreds of employees. He’s a veteran and makes it a point to hire veterans. The company is in a new headquarters in Portland and continues to grow.

    Fred Forsley: Founder, Shipyard Brewing Co.

    PHOTO / SHIPYARD BREWING

    Fred Forsley

    If there was a dictionary definition of “beer-entrepreneur,” there’d be a picture of Forsley. He started Shipyard Brewing Co. in what was then a run-down neighborhood in Portland. He built a successful beer company, but he also started Sea Dog Brewing, chain of brewpubs, and bought up a lot of property around Shipyard. Now, he’s a partner in what will be Portland’s first “brewtel,” a hotel with a beer theme. Despite a literal beer-truckload of competition, Shipyard continues to be Maine’s No. 1 beer, by production.

    Marty Grohman: Executive Director, E2 Tech

    PHOTO / E2TECH

    Marty Grohman

    Grohman built and sold a company that made deck boards out of recycled materials. He served in the Maine Legislature for two terms. He ran, unsuccessfully, for the U.S. House, District 1, seat in Maine. Now he’s running a nonprofit that touts innovation and environmental causes, but also sells out its regular forums.

    Steve Mills: CEO, Maine Beer Co.

    PHOTO / MAINE BEER CO.

    Steve Mills

    Mills didn’t build the Maine Beer brand or convince its fans to stand out in winter weather waiting for new issues of the beer. But he was brought in with the founders acknowledged they couldn’t take the company to the next level. Meantime, Maine Beer continues to grow, both in output and physically, with its Freeport HQ growing ever-larger.

     

    Beth Shissler, Don Oakes: President, CEO, Sea Bags LLC

    PHOTOS / SEA BAGS

    Beth Shissler and Don Oakes

    Sea Bags had been around since 1999, but it took Shissler’s vision of what the tote bag maker could be to make it a recognized brand. Inc. Magazine ran a story titled, “This company turns tons of old sails into tons of cash.” Now, with Shissler’s brand sense and Oakes’ marketing expertise from years at L.L.Bean, the company has 25 stores in resort towns from Maine to Florida.

    Melissa Smith: CEO, WEX Inc.

    PHOTO / TIM GREENWAY

    Melissa Smith

    She’s helped build a public company with $1.5 billion in annual sales. More than that is the impact she’s had on Maine, moving the corporate headquarters to Portland’s East End and showcasing the city as a hub for finance and bringing with her 400 employees. Now Covetrus, Maine’s largest public company, is building its headquarters a block away.

     

    Brian Whitney: President, Maine Technology Institute

    PHOTO / MAINE TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE

    Brian Whitney

    Under Whitney, MTI has been at the center of the funding hub for the state’s entrepreneurs, using matching grants to foster independence and growth. Whitney has also been able to balance the needs of the entrepreneurial community with the demands of Augusta.

     

    Updated: July 29, 2019 

    https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/10-leaders-for-maines-economic-future

  • Wednesday, May 01, 2019 9:41 AM | Marty Grohman (Administrator)

    The Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (“E2Tech”) has hired entrepreneur and former State Representative Marty Grohman of Biddeford as its new Executive Director.

    E2Tech is known for its nonpartisan forums on current environmental and energy issues, bringing together a variety of voices on issues critical to the future of Maine, and is the preeminent organization of its type in the region.

    Grohman said, “I’m pleased and honored to join E2Tech in a leadership role. I’ve been a longtime member and supporter. The organization plays a critical role in Maine’s economy and continues to grow strongly. Because of my mix of formal training as a Chemical Engineer and experience running a Maine composites and recycling company; as Director of Sustainability for a multinational manufacturer; and then as a State Representative, I have long seen the connection between smart energy and environmental policy and the future of Maine.”

    E2Tech Board Chair Tom Eschner, of TRC Companies, said: “I am looking forward to seeing Marty, with his industry and public policy skills and experience, build on the excellent work of prior Executive Director Melissa Winne, who has been steering the organization through an important time of transition over the past year.  With Marty’s leadership and E2Tech’s strong Board of Directors, the organization will be well-positioned to take on issues of environment and energy in Maine today and into the future.”


  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:02 AM | Anonymous

    Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist known for his work on behavioral economics and the psychology of decision-making, has said that if one were to design a problem that our minds are not prepared to deal with, it would be climate change. Psychologically, we are not equipped to manage threats so distant, abstract, and disputed and it is challenging for society to comprehend the severe forecasted impacts.

    However, climate change is manifesting itself in ways that are local, concrete, and undisputed. Mainers are already experiencing climate change impacts on their homes and businesses. Maine’s average annual temperature has increased by 3ºF in the last 100 years and is expected to increase another 2-3ºF by 2050. This increase in average temperature is also expected to prolong Maine’s warm season (period of time where the average daily temperature is above freezing) by two additional weeks before 2050, with winter warming faster than summer (University of Maine. 2015. Maine’s Climate Future). 

    The Gulf of Maine is also warming at an increased rate of 0.4ºF per year, which is faster than 99% of the world’s oceans (Record, N. 2014. Maine waters are warming fast. Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Transect 6:8-9.). Maine’s average total annual precipitation has increased by 6 inches in the last 100 years (University of Maine. 2015. Maine’s Climate Future). Maine is also seeing a significant increase in extreme precipitation events. This increase in precipitation may exacerbate the acidification occurring in the Gulf of Maine, in addition to other factors. Maine is also expected to see, at minimum, a sea level increase of 0.07 inches per year (NOAA Tides & Currents. 2018. Relative Sea Level Trend-Portland, Maine). 

    How will this impact Maine’s economy?

    • Crop seasons shifting or becoming longer (2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map).
    • Increases in human health issues from heat stress, air pollution, and insect-borne diseases.
    • Native species' populations shifting north & becoming more susceptible to diseases, disrupting traditional Maine industries.
    • Non-native species increasing their habitable territory and requiring more intensive monitoring and management efforts.
    • Increase infrastructure costs due to road washouts, culvert/bridge replacements, increasing storm water system capacities.
    • Increases in non-point source pollution in lakes and streams from extreme weather events. 
    • Reductions in property value in certain areas. 
    • Increases in flood zones and flood insurance.
    • Increase port opportunities with melting Artic (if Maine ports can adapt to increased sea level rise).
    • Loss of natural storm buffers, putting properties at risk and requiring infrastructure investments. 
    • Potential decrease in opportunities for winter tourism activities (skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, etc.) due to less snow/ability to produce snow and duration of lake ice.*If Maine ports can adapt to increased sea level rise.
    (University of Maine. 2015. Maine’s Climate Future)

    Want to learn more about the economic impacts of climate change?

    Join us on Thursday, June 21 at Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center in Hallowell to hear from experts in climate science, economics, fisheries, forestry, agriculture, and development. 

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    Have you seen it? It's finally here! We have launched a brand new E2Tech website

    Our website has been fully redesigned with YOU in mind. 

    The E2Tech website relaunch is Melissa Winne's inaugural project as Executive Director. Melissa envisioned transforming the E2Tech website into a mobile-compatible, modern site that better reflects our mission and values as Maine’s environmental, energy, technology, and business sector champion. 

    E2Tech worked closely with Katharine Wojcik of Adept Creative to design a site with a clean aesthetic, streamlined functionality, simplified navigation, and easier access to information on all things cleantech in Maine. By utilizing a special membership application, we are able to offer mobile-friendly registration and membership functions, so now you can register for events and check your member status right from your phone!

    We encourage everyone to visit and explore the site, and keep up with E2Tech news by signing up for the E2Tech Connect newsletter and following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    If you have any questions or feedback you would like to share with our team, please do so by contacting: Melissa Winne, melissawinne@e2tech.org.

    Thank you for Connecting With Us.

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    Content provided by Stantec.

    Stantec is a leading global design and engineering firm committed to designing with community in mind. Stantec’s 22,000 employees in 400 locations across six continents are designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe. The firm’s key areas of business include Buildings, Energy & Resources, Environmental Services, Infrastructure, and Water.

    Stantec is ranked as a top ten global environmental firm and a top ten global design firm by Engineering News Record. The firm is also ranked as a top ten architecture firm by Architectural Record.

    In Maine, the Stantec team holds deep local knowledge and relationships with a presence in two office locations, in Scarborough and Topsham. The firm’s Topsham office serves as Stantec’s environmental hub for New England, and well beyond. From botanists to wildlife biologists, fisheries experts to soil scientists, GIS mappers to wetland scientists, Stantec offers a diverse team of environmental experts with in-depth strategic scientific and regulatory expertise. Coupled with Stantec’s Scarborough office, where engineers focus on a range of projects from bridges and power plants to airports and roadways, the collective team is focused on protecting our natural resources and beautiful landscapes while finding unique ways to showcase all that Maine has to offer.

    Working locally in Maine, regionally across New England, and beyond, Stantec has a long-standing history leading projects in the environmental and energy markets. Grounded by safety, quality, and ethics, Stantec is dedicated to delivering tailored solutions for each site.

    Among Stantec’s recent work is the Portland Harbor Contained Aquatic Disposal (CAD) Cell project, the first CAD cell project in the State of Maine. Working with the City of Portland, Stantec is the design engineer focused on site investigation and permitting. This project supports waterfront economic development by dredging and disposing sediments from private and public berthing areas located at piers, marinas, and anchorages, some of which have not been dredged in over 70 years. The CAD cell will provide an environmentally responsible and reasonably affordable disposal solution for these berthing areas to regain usable full-tide water depth and navigation access. 

    A little farther north, Stantec recently put its commitment to community into action, providing pro bono baseline ecological surveys for the 164-acre Howard Hill conservation area in Augusta, work that established the value of the parcel as worthy of ecological conservation.  The work was done for the Kennebec Land Trust, which gave the land to the City of Augusta with a perpetual conservation easement, for use as a recreational area with trails, picnic areas and views of Maine’s Capitol and the Kennebec River.  With hiking trials accessible from the Capitol grounds, it will be known as the Howard Hill Historical Park.

    Stantec is an E2Tech Sustaining Steward and Brooke Barnes is a Member of the E2Tech Board of Directors.

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

  • 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. 

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