Awards to three Maine organizations from the Governor’s Energy Office will help create clean energy business incubator and accelerator programs
Governor Janet Mills today announced $1.3 million in grant awards to three organizations to support the development of innovative clean energy businesses in Maine. The grants are awarded by the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) through the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) program, an energy workforce and business development initiative of the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.
“With funding from my Jobs Plan, Maine’s clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs will receive support to help them grow, innovate, and thrive,”said Governor Janet Mills. “These investments will expand Maine’s clean energy economy and further establish our state’s leadership in developing forward-looking technologies to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, strengthen our economy, and build a clean energy future for Maine people.”
“We are excited to announce the selection of three programs that will grow the cleantech sector in Maine by supporting businesses and sparking innovation,” said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “Through these investments, Maine will continue to become a hub for entrepreneurs and professionals in these growing fields, in support of advancing Maine’s economy and meeting our goal of having 30,000 clean energy jobs in Maine by 2030.”
The CEP program is focused on preparing Maine people for jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, supporting economic development, and advancing innovation and technology in the sector, in support of Governor Mills’ goal of having 30,000 clean energy jobs in Maine by 2030.
Awardees will create clean energy business incubator and accelerator programs in four key energy sectors, including buildings and energy efficiency, renewable electric power generation, grid modernization and energy storage, and natural resource industries.
The three awardees include the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland (Roux Institute), Coastal Enterprises, Inc. in Brunswick (CEI), and the Central Maine Growth Council in Waterville (CMGC).
- The Roux Institute was awarded $975,000 to work with the University of Maine, Startup Maine, and other partners to develop a clean energy incubator program supporting startup companies through mentorship and professional services, access to capital, and community events. Through this program, the Roux Institute plans to host 40 individual cleantech startups in the first two years.
“We are honored to receive this funding that will enable the launch of a Clean Tech Incubator as well as a suite of programs with key partners to attract, engage, and grow clean energy startups in Maine such as networking events and a Start Summit,” said Chris Wolfel, Associate Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Venture Creation at the Roux Institute. “These programs will not only advance clean energy solutions and engage innovative startups, but also spur job creation and economic vitality in Maine.”
- CEI was awarded $300,000 to develop a business advising program aimed at growing and scaling contractor businesses that deliver home weatherization and energy efficiency services in rural and low-income communities.
“CEI is excited to receive this funding to launch our Energy Efficiency Business Program,” said Keith Bisson, President of CEI. “Through this program, we’ll provide contractors who are looking to expand or start their own businesses with business development support, in turn expanding energy efficiency services in the state, making buildings more comfortable, reducing energy consumption, and lowering costs for Maine people.”
- CMGC was awarded $111,774 to expand its Dirigo Labs startup accelerator and pitch contest to provide hands-on startup coaching, advisement, and research and development support for clean energy and cleantech startups.
“CMGC and Dirigo Labs are honored to be selected for this award,” said Garvan D. Donegan, Director of Planning, Innovation and Economic Development at Central Maine Growth Council. “With a technical team, robust mentor network, cohort model approach, and individualized project plans and funding identification, Dirigo Labs is poised to drive impact and scale clean tech ventures.”
“These investments from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will help support innovative energy businesses and technologies in Maine, providing new opportunities right here at home that will further our state’s efforts to build a clean energy workforce for the future,” said Senator Mark Lawrence and Representative Stanley Paige Zeigler, co-chairs of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology.
Last December, Governor Mills announced $2.5 million in CEP workforce grants. The nine 2022 awardees are using the funds to attract new people to the clean energy workforce, provide career training and upskilling opportunities, increase diversity and representation in the field, and create new and expanded apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and internship programs.
As a result of these investments, over 300 people have received training, credentialing, and/or job placement and more than 1,700 have received clean energy education and career outreach. Additionally, 30 businesses and community organizations received economic assistance and 18 new career development or job training programs have been offered.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is Governor Janet Mills’ plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people, support businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for prosperity.
The Mills Administration has released a new report and online dashboard detailing how Jobs Plan initiatives have delivered $175 million to thousands of Maine businesses, created workforce opportunities for 25,000 people, and invested in more than 400 infrastructure projects to bolster childcare, broadband, energy efficiency and weatherization, housing, and more.
For more about the Jobs Plan, please visit maine.gov/jobsplan.
For more information on the CEP program, visit the GEO website.