The Community Energy Center (CEC) brings together existing sustainability and renewable energy efforts at College of the Atlantic and surrounding communities. The CEC was founded to offer continuity and support to a variety of energy initiatives so that they may be replicated and scaled in communities across the state. Through hands-on projects, data collection, and educational outreach, the CEC aims to be a resource for home owners, businesses, municipalities, and non-profits. The goal is to empower these entities to rethink their energy consumption and generation in a way that offers economic prosperity creates resilient communities. To that end, the CEC explores and implements innovative renewable energy projects that increase public participation, utilize novel forms of financing, and optimize local governance to establish successful community sustainability initiatives.
Inspired by COA’s collaborative work with Søren Hermansen and Malene Lundén of the Samsø Energy Academy on the island of Samsø, Denmark, the creation of the Community Energy Center in 2016 represents the culmination of several years of sustainability and energy work at COA. Samsø became the world’s first 100 percent renewable energy island in 2007 through an energy transition that included citizen participation and economic rejuvenation. In a similar process, the CEC aims to spark energy initiatives across Maine and help citizens take control of their energy future.
- Solar for Businesses and Farms (SBF) energy audit program designed to provide 30 or more Hancock County businesses and agriculture producers with solar energy assessments and energy efficiency education
- Research and development of community solar arrays in Mount Desert, Trenton, and Southwest Harbor
- Improving electric vehicle transportation and connectivity across MDI
- Home energy audits and air sealing project to insulate MDI homes and replace their heating systems with more efficient, renewable energy alternatives