Clean energy economic development projects and NBRC move forward with $7.75 million

By Ramona du Houx - October 19th, 2009 · 

The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act will help fund research and development in Maine’s clean-energy economy, because Congresswomen Chellie Pingree included requests for $6.25 million for Maine in the bill.

“Maine is poised to become a leader in clean energy,” said Pingree. “It’s critical that we make these investments now to help develop the clean-energy industry in our state. This is an industry that will create good-paying jobs right here in Maine, that can’t be exported. And it’s a home-grown solution to our energy problems.”

Maine will receive:

• $5 million for the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative at the University of Maine to help develop the offshore wind industry in Maine;

• $250,000 for the Next Generation Composite Wind Blade Manufacturing Technologies at the University of Maine; UMaine has become a leader in wind-blade technology, and this investment will help advance its research;

• $1 million for research on Environmental Impact Protocols for Tidal Power at the UMaine; this research will help establish standards for developing tidal power in Maine and around the country;

• $1.5 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission.

“Maine has some of the best wind and tidal resources in the United States,” said Pingree. “And we have the people and the ingenuity to take advantage of these resources and become a world leader. The governor’s trade mission to Europe will give these efforts a boost, and the funding we passed in the House today will provide much-needed funding to this developing industry.”

With in the same act, $1.5 million for Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) will be allocated to Maine. Congressman Mike Michaud authored legislation that established The NBRC, which is designed to promote economic development of the region.

The NBRC is charged with investing in the economic development of the most economically distressed areas of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and parts of Upstate New York.

“The economic development commission will now be able to begin working for the people of Maine and the northern border region,” said Michaud. “This commission will help our most economically distressed areas by funding projects that will create jobs and promote business development.”

This legislation now moves to the Senate where passage is expected.