Maine Commission Receives Federal Funding For Creating Renewable Energy Jobs

The Northern Maine Development Commission recently announced it will receive about $1.9 million in federal grants to establish a Renewable Energy Industry Cluster (REIC) with the goal of creating jobs by replacing or supplementing fuel oil furnaces in homes and businesses with wood biomass units. U.S. Congressman Mike Michaud made the announcement about the funding […]

The Northern Maine Development Commission recently announced it will receive about $1.9 million in federal grants to establish a Renewable Energy Industry Cluster (REIC) with the goal of creating jobs by replacing or supplementing fuel oil furnaces in homes and businesses with wood biomass units. U.S. Congressman Mike Michaud made the announcement about the funding for the project, which is called “GreenMe”, which could result in the creation of more than 400 jobs over the next four years in the state of Maine.

The project is one of 20 funded nationwide through the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a multi-agency competition to support the development of high-growth industry clusters across America’s regions. The federal agencies partnering on the Maine project and providing funding are: the Economic Development Administration, which is funding $782,500, the Small Business Administration, $150,000, and the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, $995,725.

The project’s objective is to transition 9,000 residential units and 20 commercial facilities to primary or supplemental wood biomass fuel over the next four years. Implementing the renewable energy strategy will require a comprehensive and targeted work force development strategy to train mechanical engineers, biological technicians, electrical engineers and residential and commercial heating installers.

“This cluster initiative will bring together a diverse and experienced group of partners to focus on the common goal of moving this region forward. Most importantly, it will help Maine create jobs at a time we need it most,” said Michaud. “It also has the added benefit of promoting the adoption of affordable renewable energy, which will save Mainers money in the long run and benefit home owners and businesses alike.”

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