Norther Maine development commission was chosen for phase one of a nationwide competition which granted them $275 thousand dollars to put together an investment plan to attract manufacturing to the area particularly in renewable energy and what they call their clean tech manufacturing cluster, Robert Clark the executive director of NMDC explained to us just what that is…
“to manufacture a little more high tech biomass boilers, and furnaces that are affordable for conversion between residential heating oil, to biomass and also small commercial.”
biomass is converting waste products from the forest to make pellets or to make chips, to burn in furnaces. Along with being carbon neutral and sustainable it saves a lot of money in heating costs.
Michael Eisensmith says, “we calculate that between 55 and 65% 60% on average savings verses oil.”
If the investment plan goes through, NMDC could be chosen to move on to phase 2 of the competition. 6-9 organizations will be chosen out of 25 for phase two, and with that comes a grant of up to 25 million dollars.
This 25 millions dollars would be used to take this project from planning stages to reality. And not only creating jobs but having more training plans here in the region to train people to work in the facilities.
Robert Clark says, “What we really want to do is trying to get the manufacturing of biomass borders and furnaces in the region so that we can have kind of the whole cluster from harvesting the biomass up to actually constructing the borders and selling.”
Clark believes Biomass benefits everyone, he says it will reduce the cost of energy as well as improve the job market.