By Dylan Voorhees, NRCM Clean Energy Director
NRCM is enthusiastic about the energy efficiency projects announced today and hopes and expects there will be many more like them to come. Energy efficiency is one of Maine’s greatest, and most affordable untapped energy resources.
“Today’s announcement of industrial energy efficiency project grants demonstrates that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative can make real-world progress in lowering energy costs, reducing pollution, and strengthening Maine businesses all at the same time. Maine’s Legislature showed real leadership in 2007 with its overwhelming bipartisan support for RGGI, in part because of the consensus agreement to use RGGI money for energy efficiency for Maine people, businesses and industry. NRCM was proud to work with the Governor, Maine industry, and others to help forge that consensus. That promise has come to fruition today through the hard work of the RGGI Trust.
“RGGI, and the similar “cap-and-trade” policies being considered in Washington, create an opportunity for Maine to make sustained investments in energy efficiency to help reduce Maine’s energy costs and dependence on imported fossil fuels. To achieve Maine’s energy efficiency goals and ensure long-term prosperity it is essential for Maine to invest in efficiency in a sustained, long-term fashion—and we’ve taken another step in that direction today.”
Governor’s Press Release Follows:
Maine Companies Awarded Energy Efficiency Grants
AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci today announced $8.9 million in grants to support 16 projects under Maine’s Industrial Grant Program. Administered by the Maine Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) Efficiency Maine program, the grants will save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support businesses that employ thousands of Maine workers.
“These grants will help industries in Maine meet our shared goals of decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels and growing good-paying jobs,” said Governor Baldacci. “Energy efficiency and renewable energy development are keys to our economic future.”
Joining the Governor at today’s announcement were legislators, Maine Public Utility Commissioners, members of the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust and company representatives.
The Industrial Grant Program funds come from a combination of two sources: the federal Recovery Act and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds distributed by the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust. The $8.9 million in grants will leverage more than $81 million in private investments. Projects were selected based on how well their project added value to the Maine economy, saved energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
PUC Commission Chair Sharon Reishus said, “Maine’s industrial sector presents great opportunities for energy savings, emissions reductions and economic stimulus. We are pleased to support projects that show exceptional promise in meeting these objectives.”
Energy efficiency creates jobs in the green sector and preserves jobs in the companies that are undertaking the projects we are supporting today. The companies awarded grants today already employ approximately 7,000 workers in the State. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s method of calculating job creation, the investment of $90 million dollars in federal, State and private resources will create more than 950 jobs.
PUC Commissioner Jack Cashman noted, “This program will stimulate the Maine economy, make our businesses more competitive, and move us toward a more secure energy future.”
The Governor said that the Industrial Grant Program is another important step in promoting energy efficiency.
Last year, the Legislature passed the Governor’s comprehensive energy package, An Act Regarding Maine’s Energy Future, which brings established the goal to weatherize all residences and 50 percent of businesses by 2030 and reduce the State’s consumption of liquid fossil fuels by at least 30 percent by 2030.
“Maine is leading the way toward a new energy future,” said Governor Baldacci. “Our success is built on innovative leadership and the public-private partnerships. We have been able to use scarce resources to leverage significant investments in energy efficiency and conservation. And we are providing opportunities to families and businesses to become involved in development of renewable energy.”
A table of the grantees follows.
Company/Applicant,Town, Efficiency Maine Large Industrial Grant Amount
Verso Paper Corp., Bucksport, $2,000,000
Fraser Paper (KWh, Madawaska, $198,240
NewPage, Rumford, $300,000
Katahdin Paper Company, Millinocket, $235,200
Fairchild Semiconductor, South Portland, $537,000
Madison Paper, Madison, $357,000
Maine Renewable Energy Consortium, South Portland, $1,000,000
Fraser Paper (GHG), Madawaska, $393,008
Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, $1,000,000
Prime Tanning Company, Hartland, $667,500
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, $400,000
Old Town Fuel and Fiber, Old Town, $377,000
Lincoln Paper and Tissue, Lincoln, $375,000
Johnson Outdoors Watercraft, Inc, Old Town, $113,000
Tex Tech Industries, Monmouth, $746,776
Fraser Timber, Ashland, $227,500