October 2020 Edition
Sponsored by People's United Bank
5 Qs with Kay Mann
Community Outreach Director, Maine Community Power
1.Recently signed into law, how does the new Net Energy Billing, and associated legislation that went into effect last year, impact Maine-based businesses and residents?

[Kay]: LD 1711 was passed in June of 2019. It changed our community energy laws, so that instead of limiting the number of subscribers to a given "shared" power generation resource to 10 accounts (or the host meter plus 9 others), now there is NO limit to the number of electricity accounts that can subscribe to take off the power.
This has thrown open the gates wide, to welcome a veritable flood of clean energy development, primarily community solar, into Maine.

2.What has been the impact of Maine’s 2019 legislative session on the solar industry?

[Kay]: I like to characterize it as putting a lot of green lights in front of solar power developers, where they used to run into red lights.

3.Can you provide an overview of net metering and its role in energy markets? What is community solar?

[Kay]: Net metering is also called net energy billing. I am quoting a definition directly off the MPUC web page here:
● NEB programs allow customers to offset their electricity bills using the output from small renewable generators.
● Customers may own their own project or share in a project with other customers.
● The generation facility may be located on the customer’s property or on another property within the same utility service territory.
There are 2 primary types of community solar programs, as alluded to in the second bullet. In the ownership model, investors work with the developers to buy in to a share of the solar farm, either through up front investment or a payment plan.
In the subscription model (which is what PowerMarket offers), people sign up to subscribe to a portion of the power produced by a solar farm each month and it gives them credits on their monthly electricity bills. The credits are smaller when days are shorter and solar production is lowest and they are larger when we have longer days and high power production.
PowerMarket charges its subscribers 90% of their solar credits, resulting in a 10% savings.

4.What is the premise of PowerMarket Maine – and how does it aim to serve communities and businesses?

[Kay]: PowerMarket is an independent company unrelated to Versant Power, which now owns Emera.
As far as serving the communities goes, we make a big effort to give back to Maine communities that help us to build the subscribers we need to use all of the power from Maine solar farms.
To do this, we offer "referral partnerships" to community organizations that help to spread the word about this opportunity to their community members and make donations to the organizations as a "thank you" for their help.
We also look to partner with businesses that help us to get the word out to their customers by offering gift certificates for use at those businesses to their customers who choose to subscribe.

5.What challenges do solar energy markets currently face? What is the future of electricity markets for Mainers?
[Kay]The solar energy marketplace faces the enviable challenge of growing pains. After years of being bootstrapped by restrictive solar policy, we now face a workforce development challenge as the rush to build many community solar farms plays out. If you know of any folks looking for a bright new career, steer them toward Maine's solar industry!

6.How can Maine homes and businesses save money on their electricity bills?
● The first and best way is through greater energy efficiency: reducing the amount of power needed to do what we do. Efficiency Maine can help.
● I encourage everyone to check the Maine Office of the Public Advocate's electricity supply comparison page, to make sure they have the lowest kWh price for their electricity. Caveat Emptor: rates change frequently and we need to be aware of when our contract periods are ending.
● Subscribing to community solar farms can save people anywhere from 10-15% on electricity costs; you can read up on the net energy billing models on the MPUC website.
● Of course, I am partial to PowerMarket's community solar subscription program.

For more information, see the website.
October Tech Night: PowerMarket Maine Community Solar: Why it makes sense for your business
October | 1:00 p.m. | Click here for Zoom link

Listen is to hear about creative power supply and delivery options that will put solar within reach for central Maine businesses. Kay will share her perspective on solutions that lead to affordable conversions to solar renewables.
About PowerMarket Maine / Community Solar: The company is a solution for new startups right out of the gate.
Virtual Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) Recordings
By moving to the virtual Zoom platform to comply with social distancing recommendations, Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) has made its presentations available for viewing anytime. You can watch recordings of past CMTNs on the Tech Night web page.

September CMTN: MaineNerve: A Wind Tunnel of Ideas

August CMTN: Telehealth: More Than Just Video

July CMTN: When Remote Work Is Part of Your New Normal
Taking the Currency Risk out of Imports
By Thomas Stapleton, SVP International Banking, People's United Bank
No one wants to leave money on the table, but given the strength of the U.S. dollar many middle market companies that import from Europe and Canada have effectively been doing just that. Why is that? Because as the U.S. economy continues to outperform other developed markets, its currency is gaining strength. As a result, U.S. companies that price their future import contracts in U.S. dollars would sometimes be better off paying in euros or Canadian dollar

For more business banking tips read more here.
Using Trade Finance to Diversify Suppliers and Reduce Supply Chain Risk
By Thomas Stapleton, SVP International Banking, People's United Bank

Even before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe there were compelling reasons for middle market companies to diversify suppliers to de-risk their supply chain. In particular, the trade war with China and tariffs levied by President Trump got many business people thinking seriously about new sourcing strategies. Indeed, many types of events that could disrupt global supply chains seemed to suddenly come into sharp focus: civil strife, wars, and natural disasters from earthquakes to hurricanes to tsunamis.

For more business banking tips read more here.
Business Investment
Top Stories of September 2020
- Dylan Veilleux has been working for years on how to turn discarded hemp stalks into an efficient energy product. It’s been a journey through discarded ideas, mentorship, key partners, surprises and course changes. Success could be right around the corner — or well down the road. It’s a path many entrepreneurs know well. For every successful startup, there’s an unheralded journey, like Veilleux’s, to get there.

No one in Maine in recent years has had to argue that historic redevelopment can make a difference in a city's economy — Waterville, Lewiston and Biddeford are all examples of how large-scale projects can be transforming.

The Central Maine Growth Council has been awarded a highly-competitive $600,000 federal challenge grant to help local entrepreneurs retain or start and grow new technology-based companies that, combined with matching dollars, is expected to pump $1.2 million worth of investment into mid-Maine.

Waterville's Central Maine Growth Council and Portland-based Maine Center for Enterprise Development have been awarded grants that support creation of rural innovation hubs.
CMGC has been awarded a $599,969 grant that, when combined with matching money, will provide $1.2 million for a regional innovation hub.
Contact: Don Plourde
207-660-4000 dplourde@cbplourde.com
Central Maine Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Commercial Property:
257 Main Street, Waterville, ME 04901
Building Size: 2,491 sq. ft.
Sale Price: $295,000
Unit Price: $118.43 PSF
Property Features:
  • Good property visibility
  • Vinyl siding
  • Single tenant building
  • High-traffic area
  • Large parking area
  • Proximity to Interstate 95
Workforce Investment
Workforce Training & Professional Development:
Online and Hybrid Training Programs Offered in Response to COVID-19 Throughout the Community College System

Workforce training has not stopped at Kennebec Valley Community College.

KVCC fall professional development classes are in full swing.
In response to COVID-19 we have transitioned many of our course offerings online or into virtual classrooms. We will also be delivering some live lab-based classes and have taken extra care to deliver these in the safest possible manner to protect you.
Check out our schedule of classes at www.kvcc.me.edu/workforce. And don’t miss the FREE training classes available at KVCC or other Maine Community Colleges available here.

We also continue to deliver customized training programs to the business community to support incumbent or new hire training. KVCC will utilize Zoom or Microsoft Teams where possible to offer a virtual classroom experience.
To learn how you can train your team or to register for a class please call Elizabeth Fortin, Dean of Workforce Development at 207.453.5083 or visit us online at www.kvcc.me.edu/workforce.  
Quality of Place
Sponsored by MaineGeneral Health
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
You want access to the latest mammography technology at convenient times for you. At MaineGeneral, we’re with you. We offer 3D mammograms and breast biopsy with superior image quality leading to early detection and reduced false positives. Getting your mammogram in October is easy. Schedule your mammogram today by calling toll-free 877-817-1817. Learn about MaineGeneral’s Breast Care Program at www.mainegeneral.org/breastcare.
Stay connected with CMGC:
If you are an investor in CMGC and would like to submit content to
 CMGC Intelligence, simply reply to this email.
Board of Directors:

Chris Gaunce, chair – Central Maine Motors Auto Group
Beth Gibbs, treasurer – Thomas College
Lucille Zelenkewich, secretary – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Teresa Vieira – Northern Light Health - Inland Hospital
Elizabeth Fortin – Kennebec Valley Community College
Paul Stein – MaineGeneral Health
Michael Roy – City of Waterville
Gary Bowman – Town of Oakland
Michelle Flewelling – Town of Fairfield
Paul Fongemie - Town of Winslow
Brian Clark – Colby College
Michael Runser – Valley Beverage
Allan Rancourt – Kennebec Federal Savings
Donald Plourde – Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate
Tom Meucci - Huhtamaki
Ryan Poulin - New Dimensions FCU

Ex-Officio Board Members:
Laura Cyr – Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Christian Savage - Somerset Economic Development Corporation
James Dinkle – Kennebec Regional Dev. Authority / FirstPark