Efficiency Maine—a program of the Maine Public Utilities Commission—awarded 11 organizations up to $50,000 each for renewable electricity demonstration programs.

Heat leaks from a home as exhibited by inferred film.

December 21, 2009

By Ramona du Houx

“The great thing about these projects is that they will produce clean electricity, save taxpayers money and help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions–which contribute to climate change,” Commission Chair Sharon Reishus said. “The projects will help educate the local communities about ways to take advantage of alternative energy.” The grant money will go towards the purchase and installation of renewable energy equipment proposed by the individual organizations.

A request-for-proposals was released in August and the Commission received 32 responses on September 30th. Reviewers from the Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection evaluated and scored the proposals based on carefully developed criteria.

For each grant, the Renewable Resource Fund requires a five-to-one match from the sponsoring community. Established by the Legislature in 2000, the Fund is supported by voluntary contributions made by consumers in their electric bills. It provides financial support for small-scale demonstration projects designed to educate the community on the cost-effectiveness of harnessing natural resources for clean electricity. This year, the Fund also includes additional support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by U.S. Congress in February.

The following eleven winning projects are: Kennebec Valley Community College, Camden Hills Regional High School, Falmouth School Department, Cumberland Greely High School, Cumberland County, Town of Freeport, Belfast Troy Howard Middle School, Town of Kennebunkport, Thomas College, UMaine 4-H Camp, Bryant Pond, South Berwick Marshwood High School.