We are Mount Desert Island residents, businesses and municipalities working to achieve energy independence by 2030.
Spring is here and the sun is shining! Come to a Composting Workshop at Jesup Library on April 13 and to the Bar Harbor Community Farm for the launch of Solarize MDI on April 14 !
COMPOSTING WORKSHOP: THURSDAY April 13 at 7:00 p.m., Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor
Learn how to start and manage a backyard compost pile. Gain insight into the benefits of composting as a waste reducing strategy and a rich, soil-building resource. A Climate to Thrive has assembled a team of local farmers, educators and gardeners to share their know-how and experience. Rose Avenia and Steve Gabel-Richards will talk about their projects on the farm and in the schools. Sign up to purchase “The Earth Machine” (a backyard composting bin) for 1/2 price ($55). If you can't come but want to order a bin or rain barrel, click here to download and print a form.
Solarize MDI Launch Event: Friday April 14 at 11:00 a.m., 115 Gilbert farm road
There is more than plants bursting with new energy at the Bar Harbor Community Farm. Solar electric panels provide electricity to the greenhouse and heat to the barn through heat pumps, and are charging an electric vehicle. Come to the official launch of Solarize MDI. Simply put, Solarize MDI is a group solar purchasing program available to home and business owners on MDI. The more people who sign up to install solar at their homes and businesses before July 15, the larger the discount for all - save over $1,000 plus get a 30% tax credit. Come talk with folks from ACTT and with Solarize MDI vendor ReVision Energy.
Enthusiastic Turnout Looks toward Promising Electric Vehicle Future
The special event, Driving Ahead, Electric Vehicles: What You Should Know and Why it Matters that was a collaboration between the Seal Cove Auto Museum, the College of the Atlantic, and A Climate To Thrive attracted over 65 people on Saturday, April 8. Participants got to test drive a 1913 Solar Car and well as some of the latest the market has to offer! Speakers included Raney Bench, Executive Director of SCAM who spoke on the History of the Electric Vehicle, and Ken Colburn and Barry Woods who talked about the tremendous growth of the electric vehicle market and the technological changes in batteries and vehicles that will bring enormous efficiencies to the transportation sector that currently accounts for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions.
ACTT Selects ReVision Energy To install over 50 home photovoltaic systems on mdi
We have all been awaiting this moment ... and it is almost here. The official launch of Solarize MDI will begin in April! Details will follow. Solarize MDI is a bulk purchasing program that can save you over $1,000 off the cost of a typical home solar PV array ... if we can get 40 MDI homes and businesses to sign-up. With special financing options, you can switch to solar with a payback of ~ 10 years and a life expectancy of 25-30 years! Solarize MDI will also help you look at other energy saving possibilities in your home with discounts on water heaters, heat pumps, insulation, etc.
We reviewed proposals from three leading Maine solar vendors, all of whom have excellent track records and have participated in Maine Solarize programs. The decision was not easy, but we feel very confident that ReVision Energy, who already has a strong presence on the island, is best prepared to roll-out the program in a timely and efficient manner - getting most, if not all systems installed by August. They will offer state-of-the-art 300 watt solar photovoltaic panels at a great price with a 30% federal rebate. Solar systems installed in Maine before the end of the year will be grandfathered in at the current net metering rates where you earn full credit for the next 15 years.
If you haven't already signed up and are seriously interested in making the switch to fossil-free solar electricity this year, please click here to add your name to the list. Note, your site does not have to be perfect for solar. We will be looking into community solar farms that you can invest in and receive electricity credits.
A Bright Idea - ACTT provided over 2,000 Free Energy Efficient LEDs Bulbs This Weekend
With support from Emera Maine, ACTT organized a campaign to replace over 2,000 incandescent light bulbs with LED equivalents. The bulbs use 80% less energy and last 20 times longer. This translates to energy savings for our community of $20,000 annually and a reduction of our carbon emissions by 175,000 pounds per year. The free LEDs are a first step to help MDI residents focus on energy efficiency. The ACTT Building Efficiency Committee will be giving out six free soft-white 60 watt equivalent LED light bulbs to those who vow to replace six incandescents in their homes in new venues to be announced.
Do you enjoy passionate discussions about clean energy, local food systems, zero waste, public policy, new transportation?
Join one of our six committees to help create the future that you envision for your family, your grandchildren, and future generations.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help us reduce our carbon footprint on Mount Desert Island.
A Climate to Thrive (ACTT) was started by Mount Desert Island residents who believe that moving our island towards energy independence will also lead to a thriving economy. We are committed to efforts that build MDI's local economy and make this island a leader in practices and policies that reduce our carbon footprint. Our projects, such as the ones featured above, will create jobs, preserve the beauty of this island and establish MDI as a resource and leader for communities around the world.
What Does Zero Waste Have to Do With Climate Change?
Reducing waste is one of the most powerful things we can do to protect our planet from climate change. In the U.S., 42% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the production, transport and disposal of our household goods and food. Reducing waste decreases the amount of fossil fuels used to produce, transport, AND recycle, burn or bury. It also saves a lot of money, creates jobs and allows us to be more independent. Getting as close as we can to zero waste is an important part of our plan to achieve energy independence on MDI by 2030.
The great thing is that it is doable! Nantucket started an ambitious composting and recycling program ten years ago when their landfill was getting full, and they are now composting and recycling 92% of their waste! MDI has a high percentage of nature lovers and environmentalists, but our recycling rate is especially low - only 13%.
Part of A Climate to Thrive’s vision is that all MDI organic waste will be diverted from our waste stream, composted, and used to enrich our soil. We will be holding home composting workshops this Spring and are working with towns to increase recycling rates & set up re-use centers; replace plastic water bottles with refill stations in businesses and the park; transition away from plastic shopping bags and polystyrene take-out containers (which are not recyclable); and highlight the green practices of local businesses. If you have ideas, questions or want to get involved, please contact the Zero Waste Committee.
Help us learn about what’s happening and what’s needed on MDI - take the Zero Waste Home Survey.
Check Out the Solar Potential of Your home
Click above to view the solar potential of your home or business on MDI. The above solar assessment web app was developed by COA student Wade Lyman based on simulations of annual solar incidence, including the effects of intermittent shading from adjacent topography, structures and trees throughout the year. This allowed for relatively precise, high resolution estimations of solar technology performance on every roof. It serves only as a first step in evaluating your site.
Plugging in the Sun
Above: At the January 27 ribbon cutting of Bar Harbor's Community Solar Farm, the first in Eastern Maine, an extension cord receiving electricity from fossil fuels was symbolically unplugged and then plugged into the sun by Kiera Young and Taylor Ehrlich whose family now receives power from the solar energy project. Council Chair, Paul Paradis heralded the project as one of many steps the town is taking toward sustainable clean energy that will save residents money well into the future. Gary Friedmann, Chair of ACTT's Advisory Board and Town Councilor of Bar Harbor, says that "every dollar saved thanks to solar is re-invested in the local economy rather than exported to an off-island fossil fuel company." Other speakers included John Luft of ReVision Energy, who designed and installed the solar panel array, and Kendra Overlock from Emera, Maine.
Net metering has made it possible for thousands of Maine homes and businesses to own and produce their own solar power, but the Maine PUC just voted to take Maine a step backward. It’s more important than ever that the Legislature acts to create incentives for solar in Maine. Take action below from the Natural Resources Council of Maine website to support An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power In Maine sponsored by: Rep. Seth Berry.