Maine’s diesel islands find a role model, 3,500 miles away

“I decided, after reading about the 15 Maine Islands, that we’re most similar to Matinicus,” said AlexAnna Salmon, Village Council President of Igiugig, Alaska and speaker at the Island Energy Conference. “We are not an island, but we are like an island in that you can only get there by air charter.”

To Find Energy Solutions, Maine’s Small Islands Look to Peers in Other States

And at the Island Institute’s annual energy conference last week, participants also heard from their counterparts from as far away as Alaska, who are generating electricity using hydrokinetic river power.
“We’ve looked at some wind power, some solar thermal and have made the most progress with hydrokinetic power,” says AlexAnna Salmon, the council president of Igiugig, Alaska, a small, remote village accessible only by air.

In Maine’s remotest island community, changing the lightbulb has far-reaching implications

The Island Institute runs programs to support sustainability on Maine’s 14 year-round, offshore communities. Changing out power-hungry bulbs on Monhegan and Matinicus is a first step to reduce dependence on diesel and help make island living more affordable.
The 2,326 LEDs sent this year to Monhegan are expected to save utility customers a total of $15,000 a year. The 600 bulbs now on Matinicus could cut bills by a toal of $5,000. A second shipment planned for this winter of 400 bulbs could trim another $3,000 for the island.

Block Island community, Deepwater Wind receive Island Energy Innovation Award

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME—The Island Institute presented the Island Energy Innovation Award to the Block Island community and Deepwater Wind today at the organization’s sixth annual Island Energy Conference. The award recognizes their leadership in community-developer relations in the creation of America’s first offshore wind farm. 

Lessons from Samsø, a year later

How to translate lessons from an island in Denmark back to Maine? After a year spent implementing energy efficiency efforts here on Peaks, five learnings have helped Sam Saltonstall stay focused on island energy work.

Update: Vinalhaven CEAT

The Vinalhaven Energy Club seeks to improve energy and resource efficiency for residents of the Fox Islands. Energy education and awareness are essential if we are to maintain affordable, warm, and well lit homes and buildings. We have helped promote energy efficient projects such as utilizing smart grid technology, encouraging use of electrical thermal storage units, weatherizing, and installing interior storm windows. Our members are Bill Alcorn, Patrick Trainor, Naill Conlan, Karol Kucinski, and Del Webster.

Update: Peaks Island CEAT

Peaks is one of a number of Maine islands to have formed Community Energy Action Teams with financial support from the EPA through the Island Institute. Our team has named itself the Peaks Energy Action Club (PEAC), and looks forward to addressing some of the energy challenges identified here on Peaks Island. Our mission is to provide informational resources to our community about energy efficiency and renewable energy options. The Island Institute has provided us with educational materials and state-of-the-art tools to help us investigate local energy projects of our own choosing.

Update: East Casco Bay CEAT

An update on the work going on with the East Casco Bay Community Energy Action Team (CEAT), one of five teams pioneering intergenerational education and leadership around energy issues in seven year-round island communities in Maine.

Update: Islesboro CEAT

We formed the Islesboro Community Energy Action Team back in January, 2015. Our team consists of CJ, a senior in high school and our cartoon artist extraordinaire; Tres, also a teenager, homeschooler and an expert seaman; Kendra, our fantastic Island Institute Fellow; and the two wise elders, Paula Mirk and Toby Martin. Islesboro is the long (it used to be called “Long Island”) narrow island just below Verona Island at the mouth of the Penobscot River. We have a year-round population of less than 1,000, and a summer population of more than 2,000.