OIT Times: Maine Governor Signs MOU,
September 21, 2001
Maine was one of the first states to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with DOE. The MOU was signed in April by Governor Angus King, representatives from Maine's forest products industry, the Maine Chamber of Business Alliance, the state's offices of Economic and Community Development and Environmental Protection, and OIT. The MOU commits all parties to collaborating to maximize opportunities to reduce Maine's industrial energy use.
Maine's State IOF effort is initially focusing on its large forest products industry that employs 21,000 people. Led by the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MMEP), the state's IOF program held a roadmap workshop last year, with a team of industry representatives and university researchers working to prioritize Maine's technology needs. A followup workshop is scheduled for the Fall.
In addition, recent energy concerns have led to a state-wide acceleration in interest in OIT Best Practices tools and technologies. "As the cost of energy has risen, we're getting a lot of calls from people interested in plant assessments, combined heat and power, and ways to optimize motors and other systems," said Maine State IOF project manager Joan Saxe. "We want our Maine IOF office to ultimately be a 'one-stop' resource for local industry to access this valuable information."
With its second SEP grant, Maine plans to hold an "Energy Expo" this Fall. New energy-saving technologies for the forest products industry will be featured on tours of Maine plants where OIT-supported technologies are in use. For example, NICE3 is supporting a demonstration of an energy saving biolysis system at a Maine paper mill.
"Once we move forest products further ahead, we'll be putting more energies into metals as well. And, we'll likely spread the effort to other industries in the future," said Shirley Bartlett of the Maine Dept. of Economic and Community Development.