Economic Development and Financing
Energy & Jobs
Maine is ready, equipped and committed to help you design, build and manufacture equipment for clean and sustainable energy production and to power your business economically and sustainably, generating heat and power from Maine's diverse renewable energy portfolio.
- Production of power from local sources maximizes Maine jobs adding value to Maine's economy.
- In 2010, Maine ranked #1 in the US for renewable power production, with 23% of its electricity generation coming from non-hydropower renewable energy resources (primarily biomass and wind power).
- Maine is expanding natural gas service to reduce energy costs for businesses and homes and Maine is driving new technologies such fuel cell systems, district heating, and combined heat - power - cooling – fueling technologies.
As a result of Maine's extensive renewable energy development, Maine has developed an energy technology "infrastructure" of energy equipment design, manufacturing and professional services. This includes a specialized pool of expertise in engineering, geotechnical, environmental, financial, legal, insurance and worker training services. These Maine firms and institutions are applying their expertise to facilitate the development of renewable energy throughout North America. These specialties cover
- Wind power – both on-shore and off-shore
- Biomass heat and power generation - wood pellets, wood chips and grass biomass
- Ocean tidal power
- Hydroelectric generation
- Fuel cell technology and hydrogen energy
- The new Brunswick Landing Renewable Energy Park is using the extremely valuable infrastructure of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station for focused growth of "green" energy businesses along with complementary technologies for aeronautics, composite materials and information services.
- The University of Maine, the Maine Community College system and Maine Maritime Academy have coordinated training and research functions covering all aspects of Maine's renewable energy economy.
- Maine is home to world-reknowned research and product development in composites and other advanced materials plus energy and related bioproduct technologies for the world's pulp and paper industries.
Renewable Energy – one of Maine's Clean Tech specialties includes:
Maine is one of only 5 states in the U.S. with extensive on-shore and off-shore wind resources. State legislation enables these resources to be developed efficiently in environmentally acceptable locations. Maine's policy goal is to reach 8,000 megawatts of on-shore and off-shore wind power production capacity within 20 years. Maine is building world-class manufacturing and product design around the unique requirements of offshore floating wind power facilities using Maine's very extensive composite materials technologies.
Maine is the most heavily forested state in the nation, resulting in Maine having the #3 nameplate capacity in the US for power generation from biomass – generating 2.1 million kilowatt hours of electrical power per year. Maine's well-established forest products industry is ideally prepared for further expansion of biomass energy with unmatched infrastructure, equipment, knowledge, management practices and trained labor force. Maine is a leading research hub for forest bio fuels in conjunction with Maine's highly respected pulp and paper industry. Maine has 4 active and successful wood pellet manufacturing facilities with two more in the works. Maine is the first U.S. State to accept European Union emissions testing for world-class clean-burning wood pellet boilers.
The Bay of Fundy, on the border between Maine and Canada, is one of the most robust tidal energy resources in the world with tidal ranges of up to 50 feet or more and estimated energy potential of 2,500 megawatts. This resource spurred establishment of a world leader in tidal in-stream energy technologies - Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland and Eastport, ME. Eastport and Lubec, Maine are now at the epicenter of the tidal energy industry with ORPC installing its state-of-the art, in-stream tidal energy generating system there. Also, Maine Maritime Academy at Castine has established the Tidal Development Evaluation Center (TDEC), America's first site-licensed testing facility for tidal power systems.
Fuel cell Technologies
Maine is a partner in the billion-dollar per year New England – New York cluster of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology industries. This includes fuel cell systems to generate electrical power, heat and hydrogen from biomass and biofuels associated with paper production. These technologies can also offer power storage and methanol fuel production associated with Maine's plentiful wind power. Fuel cell manufacturing and deployment in Maine can enhance efficiencies, power output, energy storage and transportation fuel options with wind power, natural gas, biomass and landfill gas systems.
Presently, the largest source of renewable power in Maine is water power. Maine's topography and very abundant water resource enables hydroelectric facilities to generate 13% of Maine's electricity production. This resource is a key factor in Maine's aggressive renewable energy portfolio goals.
Positioned on the generally leeward side of the Appalachian mountains, Maine has a surprisingly good solar resource. A very robust and highly skilled solar installation industry exists in Maine to maximize use of solar energy for electric power and solar hot water production.
Maine possesses a highly skilled core of geothermal energy professionals adept at heating commercial buildings from our surprisingly vast and efficient "basement" of bedrock energy. Homes, schools and commercial buildings throughout Maine are using this technology for their space heating needs.
Conservation measures are among the most cost-effective means for reducing energy costs and making our energy mix as sustainable as possible. Efficiency Maine is one of the most effective statewide institutions in the U.S. for maximizing industrial, commercial and residential energy conservation and efficiency.