NRCM news release
Bangor – According to a new analysis released today by the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), the development of wind power and renewable energy and the expansion of energy efficiency programs are generating significant jobs in Maine today, and the potential for future job growth is large.
“By our count, over 2,500 businesses in Maine currently are involved in helping reduce Maine’s dependence on fossil fuels, cutting energy bills for Maine people and businesses, and building the infrastructure for a clean energy economy,” said Dylan Voorhees, NRCM Clean Energy Project Director.
- 289 Maine businesses have participated in construction work at five wind power projects, with total in-state contract spending of more than $50 million;
- 230 businesses provide home energy audits and weatherization services;
- 427 businesses are certified installers of solar hot water and photovoltaic systems;
- 1,300 businesses provide efficiency products and services in connection with the State’s Efficiency Maine program;
- 46 Energy Star businesses work in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy to construct and certify high-efficiency homes in Maine; and
- Over 300 other companies are green architecture, engineering and energy consulting firms.
Maps released today at a Bangor press conference show the location of these businesses.
“The clean energy economy is not a theoretical concept in Maine. It is here today, and it is growing. Diverse Maine companies across the state are involved, and we’re starting to develop a critical mass of expertise and momentum that could provide very substantial economic benefits to Maine in future years,” said Voorhees.
As part of its analysis, NRCM conducted a survey of energy efficiency businesses in Maine and found that more than 75% anticipate that their business will remain at its current level or grow during the year ahead. “Given the current condition of our weak economy, this level of confidence about business activity in the energy efficiency sector is particularly noteworthy,” said Voorhees. [See Maine Energy Efficiency sector results attached to this release]
“Maine has big ambitions for wind power, with the goal of 3,000 MW by 2030. And the Legislature just adopted bold goals to weatherize all Maine homes and half of Maine businesses by 2030. These major objectives could translate into billions of dollars of investment, and thousands of additional jobs for Maine’s clean energy sector. But it is becoming increasingly clear that federal climate and clean energy legislation will be necessary to provide the context, resources, and emphasis on clean and efficient power for Maine’s clean energy businesses to prosper,” added Voorhees.
Federal climate legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate today. Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are expected to be important leaders in helping shape climate and energy legislation so that it gives a major boost for Maine’s clean energy companies.
Joining NRCM at the press conference were employees of a number of businesses involved in wind power development, renewable heating systems, green building and home weatherization services. These representatives described their jobs, background, and their perspectives about being part of Maine’s emerging clean energy economy.
Lee Laundry of ReVision Energy grew up in Northern Aroostook County and eventually went into the home heating business with his father. “I wanted to learn the trade from my dad, help him get the business off the ground, and help bring us closer together.” As Lee went from Apprentice to Master Oil & Solid Fuel Technician, he started with ReVision in 2006, becoming part owner in 2008.
“Maine has a long tradition of using renewable energy—but we’re on the cusp of a new chapter in using clean energy to reduce energy costs, decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, and reduce pollution. Companies like ReVision are poised to expand and put our expertise into place across Maine as we make that shift.”
Matt Damon works with Penobscot Home Performance, which conducts energy evaluations and energy retrofits that are designed to make homes more comfortable, healthier, and more energy efficient.
“We enjoy employing the tenets of building science to help Maine families lower their fuel bills and make their homes more comfortable. Our homes average a decrease of 25 to 70 percent in fuel consumption, which means more money in Maine families’ pockets and more money in the local economy.”
Jeff Copley of Brewer, a father of three, worked until recently for the railroad in Northern Maine. Jeff has returned to school at NMCC to receive wind power technology training in the same year that his daughter has entered college as a freshman at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.
“Watching the news, I saw all of the wind turbines going up across Maine and figured this was a good industry to get involved in. It’s very exciting to know that, as graduates of the Northern Maine Community College Wind Power Technology Program, we will be the first to earn degrees in wind power here in Maine and that we will be prepared to enter the workforce and make a difference. Our work will help reduce greenhouse gases and we will be part of leading the effort to move Maine forward.”
Jenifer Richards is a LEED-certified designer with WBRC Architects & Engineers. Her portfolio includes design work for buildings at the University of Maine in Augusta and Orono, the Bass Building in Bangor, and the MDI Biological Lab. She holds degrees from the University of Maine-Augusta and Florida State University, and is currently the Vice Chair for the Maine chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.
“I am so fortunate to be working in this state to help build green buildings. Our clients want buildings that are well-designed to be comfortable, healthy, aesthetic, and energy-efficient. And it is our job to show them that they can do it all together. Maine has a growing number of green building professionals—but we have much more to do to build and renovate our way to better, more efficient buildings in Maine.”
Parker Hadlock is the Business Development Director at Cianbro. In addition to the company’s involvement in constructing Maine’s first island wind farm on Vinalhaven and work to build the transmission line for the Kibby Wind Farm, Cianbro is an active participant in Maine’s discussions about expanding renewables and energy infrastructure both on and offshore.
“Cianbro is pleased to be an active member of the Governor’s Ocean Energy Task Force, which is wrestling with many approaches to renewables, including new transmission regulations that will directly enhance all renewable generation sources. The advancement of renewables will reduce our dependency on unstable supplies of foreign oil, reduce global warming, and increase the vitality of our nation by creating excellent green jobs.”
Shane Duigan, now a project manager at Stantec in Topsham, Maine, is trained as a forester and wetland scientist at the University of Maine and a master of forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Shane works on development projects that require natural resource identification, typically for permitting. With the growth of renewable energy, he has worked on environmental assessments for wind project such as the Stetson Wind Farm in Washington County.
“Working at the intersection of natural resource management and renewable project development has been a huge opportunity for me, and for Stantec. Wind power development has created a huge opportunity for Maine; it brings good jobs and generates clean energy. I’m proud to know that my work helps that development happen in an environmentally responsible way.”