Maine State Ferry Service Reports Released

National firm KPFF Consulting Engineers completed their reports on the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS) in March, a culmination of 2 years of work collaborating with Island Institute, islanders, and the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT). This effort largely does two things: 1) gives a clear baseline of where the service is today in a format easily understood and publicly available and 2) opens the door to whole-systems thinking around where the service could go based on Maine islander needs and comparable systems.

Ticking the box or designing for meaningful change?

Equity. It’s a concept that many value but can struggle to put into practice. When it comes to the state of Maine’s efforts to develop strategies to aggressively respond to climate change, what does it look like to design with a commitment to equity and to meeting the needs of all Mainers at the center? While much of the world came to a screeching halt this spring, members of the Maine Climate Council’s working groups doubled down on their efforts to develop recommendations on how to reach the state’s climate goals.

Maine islands look to microgrids for energy independence

Maine’s unique geography is creating opportunities for microgrid developers. The state’s coast is dotted with thousands of islands, many inhabited with populations ranging from a few dozen to more than 10,000. 
These island communities have long had to be creative and resourceful to obtain electricity, but power is often costly. Several are now looking to microgrids as a way to cut costs and rely less on outside sources for power. 

Thermal Scan Camera and LED bulbs available to Rockland residents

ROCKLAND — The City of Rockland announced that the Energy Committee has been awarded a $2,000 Spark! Grant by the Island Institute. This effort is in conjunction with the recently adopted Rockland Climate Action Plan to move the city to carbon neutrality by 2045. The Island Institute is a community development non-profit based in Rockland.

Fisherman’s Co-op switches to 100% solar energy

More than 90 people filled boats on Wednesday to go to Islesford to celebrate the installation of new solar panels at the Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-op. The new panels on top of the fishermen co-op’s buildings provide 100-percent of the power. Between grants from the Island Institute and the USDA, Nighman says 60% of the cost was covered.

Mainers Are Finding Creative Ways To Fix Leaky Windows And Address The ‘Rural Efficiency Gap’

For many in rural America, it’s a struggle to find the cash and resources needed to button up a home against the winter cold. Labor and materials cost more – that is, if you can find them at all. But in Maine and other rural states a variety of partners — church groups, non-government organizations and government groups — are ramping up efforts to close what some call the “rural efficiency gap.”

Islanders Share Energy Challenges and Solutions at Great Lakes Summit

At the 2nd annual Great Lakes Islands Summit, held October 1-2, 2018 in Madeline Island, Wisconsin, islanders and leaders from around the Great Lakes region and beyond gathered to discuss the unique challenges of living, working, and playing on islands. This year’s summit focused on topics relevant to all island communities, including water levels, affordable housing, energy production, and economic survival. During the energy breakout session, energy experts and community members shared energy challenges as well as ideas and solutions for addressing them.

Island Institute’s Energy Conference Focuses on Resilience

The Island Institute held its 8th annual Island Energy Conference in South Portland on May 4. This year’s theme, “Resilient Together,” highlighted what islanders are doing to increase the resilience of their energy systems and communities.
The event brought together energy experts and island leaders from Maine, New England, and around the world to discuss common energy challenges and share solutions for addressing resiliency in the face of an increasingly unpredictable world.