Now, fossil fuels are just biological materials that are some WICKED ancient. We can burn materials that take less than 50 years to re-generate instead, and we can grow’em right around these parts.

Biological Power Posts

Maine's Conversation about Biological Power

When we talk about biological power, we mean power that is generated from converting materials that were once living, such as trees or other plants.  We will have several sub-headings (such as biodiesel, biomass and ethanol) under biological power in time; for now they are all under one umbrella.

We invite Maine's experts and novices to post their questions, concerns, insights, rants, praise or technical information about the many forms of biological power available in Maine here. Please join the conversation and check back often for updates.

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Biological Power Blog Posts

02/20/2017 - 3:28pm

 New England Grassroots Environment Fund logoThe New England Grassroots Environment Fund is offering Grow Grants of up to $3,500 for community sustainability initiatives across New England and the application deadline for this round is March 15, 2017. 

01/09/2017 - 9:43pm

To start with, grab your GMO-free, organic popcorn and watch this video from US-DOE about the potential for development in one of Maine's strongest historical energy resources: biomass.

12/12/2016 - 7:28pm

A tree in Maine photo by Kay MannThere is a new kid on Maine’s sustainable energy investors block.

12/11/2016 - 12:56pm

Nathan Smith Darrell Henry Jason Smith and David Meyer speak on energy policy panel at E2Tech Expo 2016 photo by Kay MannOn November 17, 2016, E2Tech hosted its second annual expo at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

11/13/2016 - 1:23pm

Image from 2015 E2Tech Expo courtesy of E2TechThe second annual E2TECH EXPO on November 17 will be the premier energy event of the year! The U.S.

10/16/2016 - 6:17pm

wood pellets for heating image courtesy of Maine Pellet Fuels AssociationWikipedia defines “hydronics” as “the use of water or another liquid heat transfer medium such as glycol as the heat-transfer medium in heating and cooling systems.

10/16/2016 - 12:20pm

Coastal Energy Biofuels truck on barge pushed by lobster boat to an island on the Maine coast image courtesy of Coastal Energy BiofuelsThere is a new kid on Maine’s biofuels production block and it is using a different technology to make biofuel from orga

07/10/2016 - 11:41am

Maine Senator Angus King photo by Kay MannOn June 27, 2016, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce invited Senator Angus King to speak about energy-related issues as they relate to Maine businesses. Green Energy Maine was there and brings you this report.

01/23/2016 - 4:30pm

Alex Pine of Maine Standard Biofuels photo by Kay MannOn January 12-14, 2016, the Maine Agricultural Trades Show took place at the Augusta Civic Center. In a Wednesday session, Jennifer Brennan of the Greater Portland Council of Governments (or GPCOG) introduced Alex Pine, Direc

Biological Power News

Feds Throw Lifeline to Maine’s Forest Products Industry
02/05/2017 - 7:40pm

SAPPIs Skowhegan woodyard courtesy of SAPPIOn January 18, 2017, the US Economic Development Administration announced a series of grants and initiatives aimed at breathing new life into Maine’s ailing forest products industry by helping industry leaders create a vision and roadmap for the sector. These will include forging a collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Maine and the US Department of Energy, to find new opportunities for biomass energy for combined heat and power, microgrid and cutting edge research related to biofuels.

The news is welcomed by the Maine Forest Products Council and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine as a way to carry the industry into a future of stable prosperity.

Read the full report of the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT).  Or, read the full story in Mainebiz.

Image credit: SAPPI’s Skowhegan woodyard courtesy of SAPPI.

MPUC Defers Decision on Net Metering Rule Changes
01/08/2017 - 1:51pm

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities CommissionOn December 19, 2016, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced a delay in handing down a decision about a controversial set of proposed rule changes to Maine’s net metering law.

Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy was quoted as saying, ”This is an important rule and more time is needed to consider the proposed rule in light of the comments we received to ensure that the rule treats all ratepayers in a fair manner. It remains clear that changes in technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar photo-voltaic, require a careful review of the current rule and potential modifications."

The 128th Maine Legislature, which has just opened it 2017 session, will also be considering changes to net metering laws.

Read more in Mainebiz and read the announcement on the MPUC website.

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Maine Prepares to Export Wood Chips
11/13/2016 - 2:52pm

image of wood chips courtesy of DOEAs of November 8, 2016, the ports of Searsport and Eastport, Maine are announcing that they are prepared to begin exporting wood chips to India and the European Union, to be used as power generation feedstock, as soon as 2017.

Preparations have been underway since 2009 and involve perfecting a process called phytosanitation for heat treating the wood product to kill insects before transit. The news is being welcomed by Maine’s biomass industry, which has been dogged by paper mill closures and low oil prices for the past several years.

Read the full story in the Portland Press Herald or in Mainebiz.

Image of wood chips courtesy of DOE.

Maine Governor Signs Biomass Bailout Bill
05/07/2016 - 5:14pm

biomass hopper at Colby College image courtesy of Colby CollegeOn April 16, 2016, Maine’s Governor signed a $13.5 million biomass bailout bill, LD 1676: “An Act To Establish a Process for the Procurement of Biomass Resources”, into law after it passed both houses on April 15.

The bill would authorize the Maine Public Utilities Commission to purchase up to 80 MW of power from Maine’s remaining biomass energy plants at above-market prices over two years in order to shore up demand. Funding for these purchases would come from the state’s “Rainy Day Fund” of surplus tax revenues, rather than from an increase in electricity rates, as originally proposed.

Supporters see the bill as essential to the preservation of over 1,000  jobs in the logging and biomass industries. Opponents see the bill as “corporate welfare” which will benefit JD Irving and biomass plant owner ReEnergy Holdings, with no guarantee that the plants will remain open.

Read more in the Bangor Daily News and listen to the story on MPBN.

Algae Research Funds Flow to USM
10/27/2015 - 11:08am

a student conducts algae research image courtesy of US-DOEOn October 2, 2015, the US Department of Energy awarded a multi-year, $1.5 million grant to the Algae Foundation, to develop a college degree in algal cultivation technologies as well as an aquaculture extension training program.

The Algae Foundation has formed the Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC), a partnership between academic institutions, national research laboratories, and industry leaders. The Consortium will develop novel educational programs to strengthen industry workforce capabilities.

The Algae Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the algae industry. Its leader, Dr. Ike Levine, teaches at the University of Southern Maine in Lewiston. Read the full news story here.

Image courtesy of US-DOE.

Biological Power Job and RFP Posts

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