Maine island’s plan to build its own energy grid could change the game for remote communities

Isle au Haut residents plan to install a sophisticated microgrid this spring that could eventually end their reliance on expensive power and heating fuel from the mainland. As on many of the other 14 Maine islands inhabited year-round, Isle au Haut residents pay at least double the amount a Portland or Bangor resident would for their electricity, kerosene and oil. Compounding matters, an aging undersea electric cable between Stonington and the island could fail any day, according to Jim Wilson, president of Isle au Haut Electric Power Co.

International Energy Leaders Visit Molokai

A proposal for a large-scale solar project on Molokai is on the table and residents are questioning the project’s benefits and whether community ownership of the project down the road is viable or desirable.
With the island’s energy grid on the brink of change, a group of community energy leaders from around the world visited Molokai last Monday to share their perspectives on renewable energy solutions with residents.

What would you do with $21 million?

Maine’s share of the recent settlement with Volkswagen for emissions violations is about $21 million. While the funds come with numerous restrictions, the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) recently found itself asking just this question as staff worked with Governor’s Energy Office and Efficiency Maine Trust to put together a draft plan for how to spend the money. MaineDOT is currently accepting comments, and the deadline for submitting comments is January 15, 2018.

Clean energy on Monhegan benefits art museum

State and federal representatives, island leaders and community partners joined the Monhegan community at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 21 to celebrate the completion of a comprehensive upgrade to the island’s energy systems.
The culmination of countless hours of hard work, the project enables the community-owned Monhegan Plantation Power District to power the island with cleaner burning diesel-fired microturbines and a solar array. The new system is designed to improve reliability and safety of service and reduce generator emissions on the island.

Monhegan completes multi-year project to reduce energy costs

Monhegan Island, which has some of the highest electricity costs in the nation, completed a comprehensive upgrade of its power-generating system that includes the addition of a solar array and installation of a new, cleaner-burning diesel generator. At roughly 70 cents per kilowatt hour, the island’s electricity costs are approximately five times higher than the average residential cost in Maine, according to an analysis conducted by the Maine Public Utilities Commission based on rates that were current on Dec. 31, 2015.

Monhegan Island celebrates completion of multi-year clean energy initiative for community, art museum

MONHEGAN ISLAND, ME — On Monday, August 21st, state and federal representatives, island leaders, and community partners joined the Monhegan community at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of a comprehensive upgrade to the island’s energy systems. The culmination of countless hours of hard work, the project enables the community-owned Monhegan Plantation Power District to power the island with cleaner burning diesel-fired microturbines and a solar array, improving reliability and safety of service on the island.

Island Institute recognizes energy innovator, community champion at 7th Annual Island Energy Conference

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME – The Island Institute kicked off its seventh annual Island Energy Conference in South Portland today by recognizing two groups for their work as energy leaders and champions for Maine’s island communities. The Island Energy Innovation Award was presented to the Monhegan Plantation Power District for recent upgrades made to the island’s power station which will create cleaner emissions and incorporate renewable energy into the island grid, and the board and staff of the Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative received the Island Institute Community Champion Award for their work in securing a pathway for affordable electric power for the people of Swan’s Island and Frenchboro.

Island Institute recognizes energy innovation at annual conference

Rockland-based Island Institute kicked off its seventh annual Island Energy Conference in South Portland on April 28 by recognizing two groups for their work as energy leaders and champions for Maine’s island communities. The Island Energy Innovation Award was presented to the Monhegan Plantation Power District for recent upgrades made to the island’s power station which will create cleaner emissions and incorporate renewable energy into the island grid, and the board and staff of the Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative received the Island Institute Community Champion Award for their work in securing a pathway for affordable electric power for the people of Swan’s Island and Frenchboro.