Renewable Energy

WCCOG provides assistance to interested Washington County communities with a variety of planning issues related to renewable energy, including: developing community energy plans, technical assistance with ordinances related to renewable energy (e.g. wind towers), and assistance with grants to implement community energy plans.

Wind Energy

The State Planning Office (now the Municipal Planning Assistance Program of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry) has created a Model Wind Energy Facility Ordinance that offers a comprehensive wind energy facility review process and standards for voluntary adoption by Maine municipalities. The Municipal Planning Assistance Program recommends that the model wind ordinance should be downloaded with its companion publication: Draft Guidebook for the Maine Model Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.

DEP Wind Energy Noise Standards

To date (June, 2012) six Washington County municipalities are working on or have adopted Wind Power Ordinances. A chart of these towns can be viewed here.

Town of Columbia Wind Ordinance

Property Assessed Clean Energy - PACE

Efficiency Maine is launching a $20 million revolving fund to weatherize and retrofit Maine homes.  Municipalities will play a key role in making these funds available to their residents.  The first step for towns is to investigate establishing an energy committee if they do not already have one, and to start mechanisms to pass the model PACE ordinance (if possible before year end). PLEASE NOTE - this Model Ordinance was prepared by Efficiency Maine, not WCCOG. 

Efficiency Maine has launched their official webpage for information about the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) initiative and the Home Energy Savings Loan program in Maine. In the Spring of 2010, the Maine legislature passed the "PACE" law (L.D. 1717). This law makes it possible for a homeowner to receive a loan for home energy savings improvements, and importantly, for that loan to be transferred from the first homeowner to a subsequent purchaser of the property. Check out this FAQ for answers to some basic questions about what a PACE loan is and how the programs are expected to work in Maine.

Since the PACE law was passed, Efficiency Maine has been working with experts across the state and nation to develop a revolving loan program that will give residents from all corners of Maine access to affordable loans for energy improvements to their homes. Efficiency Maine applied for and won a competitive grant from the US Department of Energy to capitalize, administer and market this loan fund.

If you are interested in assisting your member towns in accessing this program, please contact Dana Fischer at Dana.Fischer@efficiencymaine.com

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds)

In late 2009,  the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) solicited applications for a first round of grants from local and county governments for energy efficiency and conservation projects.  Applicants could submit either a Custom Project application (capped at $85,000 for individual municipality) or a Template Planning Project (capped at $10,000). 

WCCOG assisted six Washington County communities in the preparation of applications for the first round of these grants. All six application were fully funded. Links to some of these successful applications are provided below.

In the second and final round or EECBG grants the following Washington County communities received assistance:

For more information, please contact Judy East at 454-0465.