All kinds of folks are getting trained and re-trained to make these new composite-type wind blades and weatherize houses and what not.  I believe you CAN teach an old dog a new trick or two.

Education News

Energy Education, Student Stars and a little TLC for Mainers

Welcome to Maine's conversation about energy education and what we like to call "TLC", that is: Training, Licensing and Certifications.  We will include info on where Mainers can get the specialized education they need to work in our new energy economy, as well as showcasing student and class energy projects. K-12 science teachers are encouraged to share lesson plans here, and we invite university students working on energy research projects to post their works here.  Don't forget to send photos!

people in a training seminar

 
 
Brunswick Junior High Students Explore Energy Efficiency with Evergreen Home Performance
02/02/2016 - 3:34pm

Evergreen Energy Advisor Cree Krull prepares BJHS students for a blower door test. The bright red blower door has a calibrated fan that measures a building's air leakage image courtesy of Evergreen Home PerformanceBrunswick Junior High School 7th graders competed to see who could build the most energy efficient “home” last week, with some pretty surprising results. The structures started with cardboard from the cafeteria, and the insulation and air sealing options were limited to paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, blueboard, tape, and glue, but the improvements helped students connect the science of heat transfer to the real-life challenges of weatherizing Maine homes.

“The kids can unequivocally confirm that well-taped plastic wrap is great at reducing air leakage but not so great at stopping heat loss,” said Cree Krull, who led the activity and helped students test their structures with fans and infrared cameras. “And we can extend that observation to explain why homes need air sealing and insulation.”

Krull should know; as an energy advisor at Evergreen Home Performance, he uses the same tools to assess real homes for air and heat loss. “Using an infrared camera is pretty straightforward, so it makes sense to have kids work with the real thing,” said Krull. “Interpreting what you see and knowing what to do about it is what takes expertise.”

The BJHS students may not be ready for careers in energy efficiency yet, but they’re much more informed thanks to a month-long interdisciplinary project that highlights the science, economics, and politics of home weatherization and introduces students to the need for lower reliance on home heating oil and greater emphasis on energy efficiency.

“Weatherizing Maine’s old homes reduces our dependence on the fossil fuels used to heat them, which in turn reduces heating expenses and environmental impacts” said BHJS teacher Cris Lavigne. “When kids learn how weatherization works and how they can be a part of it, they make things better for their community. It’s a powerful service-learning opportunity.”

Students will share what they’ve learned by creating a bank of weatherization materials, along with instructions on how to use them, and using those weatherization materials to seal drafty spaces in their lives. In March, they will share the results of their learning at a community-wide event.

Photo and article courtesy of Evergreen Home Perfomance.

UMaine Opens World Class Wind and Wave Testing Facility
12/26/2015 - 7:03pm

the Harold Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Laboratories image courtesy of the University of MaineOn November 23, 2015, the Advanced Structures & Composites Center at the University of Maine at Orono celebrated the opening of the Harold Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Laboratories. This world-class testing laboratory will prototype coastal and offshore structures, including ships, aquaculture facilities, oil and gas structures, and ocean energy devices under extreme wave, wind and current environments.

During the ceremonies, the Harold Alfond Foundation announced a $3.9 million grant to the University of Maine to match $9.98 million already raised for the facility. See photos of the day’s celebration here. Read more in the Bangor Daily News.

Image credit: University of Maine.

Aqua Ventus Wins $3.7 Million Grant
11/22/2015 - 8:02pm

Volturn US prototype wind turbine developed for the Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project image courtesy of the University of MaineOn November 16, 2015, Maine's US Senators Collins and King announced that the offshore wind project for the Gulf of Maine known as Aqua Ventus will receive $3.7 million from the US Department of Energy to complete planning, design and supply chain contracts.

The project is being developed by a consortium led by the University of Maine and received a previous $3 million grant in 2014 under the DOE’s Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project. Of other states receiving greater funding under this program, Aqua Ventus is the only one to secure a power purchase agreement so far.

Read the full story in Mainebiz.

VolturnUS floating offshore wind turbine image courtesy of University of Maine.

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.

E2Tech Hosts its First Expo Oct. 1
09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

Maine Islanders Study Danish Energy Ways
01/18/2015 - 6:22pm

Samso Island, Denmarks Energy Academy photo courtesy of Samso Energy AcademyIn October of 2014, a group of 5 Mainers from Peaks and Monhegan Islands and 15 College of the Atlantic students traveled to Denmark's Samso Island to attend the Samso Energy Academy and learn about their "Fossil-Free Island" project.

Samso Island is becoming energy independent by using wind and solar power and geothermal and biomass heat. Read a great New York times article that details what they learned there.

Image: Samso Energy Academy photo courtesy of Samso Energy Academy.

UMaine Expands Ocean Energy Testing Capabilities
10/08/2014 - 12:32pm

drawing of the W2 wind and water testing facility at the University of Maine at Orono Advanced Structures and Composites CenterConstruction is underway on an addition to UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC). Called W2, this unique wave-wind basin will allow UMaine researchers to test offshore structures under differing wave and wind environments.

Testing at the W2 facility will be applied to renewable energy projects (such as offshore wind, wave, tidal, and current technologies), shipbuilding, offshore drilling and coastal climate change effects modeling. Completion by May 2015 is expected.

Read the whole story from UMaine.

Image credit: University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center

Baxter Academy Wins Wind Blade Challenge
05/06/2014 - 1:00pm

Students from Baxter Academy who won the 2014 Maine Wind Blade Challenge photo courtesy of Maine Ocean and Wind Energy InitiativeOn May 2, 2014, the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA) and the Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative (MOWII) held the 6th annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge at the University of Maine at Orono.

Baxter Academy won the competition with a unique mechanical variable blade pitch design. Brunswick Region 10 Team 1 and Thornton Academy placed second and third out of 39 registered teams.

See the full results of the event here. Photo of the Baxter team courtesy of Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative.

Bath Students Embrace PowerHouse
01/14/2014 - 4:24pm

Powerhouse program partners courtesy of Gulf of Maine Research InstituteEighth Grade Students at Bath Middle School have not only embraced the PowerHouse program from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, but taken it a step further by creating public service announcements encouraging energy conservation.

Read the full blog article here.

Image credit: Powerhouse program partners courtesy of Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

Bowdoin Shoots for the Sun
10/15/2013 - 4:26pm

The roofs of Farley Field House (foreground) and Watson Arena (right) would be used to generate 600 kW of solar power, with another 700kW generated from solar panels located on land owned by the College at the former Brunswick Naval Air StationBowdoin College has proposed to install the largest solar array in Maine: 1,300-kilowatts, atop the roofs of the Farley Field House and Watson Arena and on land recently acquired at Brunswick Landing. If approved, the college would partner with SolarCity Corp. of California to install and operate the system, which would offset about 8% of its annual power needs.

Read more on the Bowdoin Daily Sun blog.

Photo courtesy of Bowdoin College