The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) began soliciting proposals for the Maine Clean Energy Innovation Challenge that was announced by Governor Janet Mills on Earth Day.

In collaboration with the Governor’s Energy Office, MTI developed the challenge to catalyze the deployment of innovative clean energy technology solutions in Maine. MTI has established this $500,000 grant program to encourage clean energy startups and businesses to propose innovative, scalable solutions that will help meet the climate and clean energy goals of the state. MTI endeavors to help bring to market advanced technologies and services across the clean energy and climate spectrum (energy generation, energy efficiency, clean transportation, energy storage, data or software for energy management and innovative combinations of the aforementioned).

This program will be the second Emerging Technology Challenge administered by MTI, following the initial successful pilot program focused on Maine’s forest resources launched in 2019 that resulted in $1.5 million invested in two natural resource-based technologies.

The Maine Clean Energy Innovation Challenge will leverage statewide initiatives that are currently underway, including the Strengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy report that was issued in November 2020 by the Governor’s Energy Office and the Office of Policy Innovation & the Future. That plan offers a detailed analysis of the momentum within Maine’s clean energy economy, and how the sector is emerging as a source of economic growth and workforce opportunities to help the state’s recovery from the economic disruption of COVID-19. Additionally, in December, the Maine Climate Council released its four-year climate action plan titled Maine Won’t Wait. That plan, developed by a 39-member team of leaders, experts and advocates with input from thousands more, suggests climate action steps to create economic opportunities for Maine, such as encouraging the growth of the clean energy economy. Eligible companies shall be startups or small businesses engaged in clean energy innovation in Maine, or those currently located elsewhere looking to develop in Maine. Investments will be awarded to technologies or services that advance innovative solutions and have growth potential. Submissions are due by June 18, 2021 and should be submitted to MTI via its website.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.