Maine Community Energy Redevelopment Program

The Maine Community Energy Redevelopment Program (MECERP) is designed to foster economic development across Maine by providing high-quality technical assistance to projects that unlock community energy assets for economic development. Successful projects supported through MECERP will bring together partners in the community to collaborate on implementation, help realize Maine’s economic development goals, have a high likelihood of qualifying for state and federal funding, and leverage underutilized or legacy electricity infrastructure.

Funded through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and led by the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), this program is intended to create family-sustaining jobs while reducing carbon emissions, in line with State economic development and climate goals, including:

GEO, DECD, and their implementation consultant HR&A Advisors, Inc. (together, the Project Team) are seeking input for promising development projects or development sites. The objective of this program is to support each participating community to develop a detailed action plan for projects consistent with the state’s climate and clean energy goals and be well-prepared to implement these projects, with a particular focus on qualifying for new federal funding opportunities. These projects must take place in areas where there is available electric grid capacity or underutilized grid infrastructure.

Project Goals

Please note that this program seeks to support proposals* for new development or infrastructure deployment where underutilized electricity infrastructure exists (i.e. available electrical capacity on transmission or distribution lines) but will not fund project construction or development.

The following are examples of potential projects which may be considered:

  • Redevelopment or adaptive reuse of unused or vacant industrial sites, including brownfield sites;
  • Development projects across multiple sites that are close to each other or along a commercial corridor; and
  • Already in-progress, but stalled, economic development projects with a nexus to underutilized electricity infrastructure.

Proposed projects must demonstrate the potential to advance Maine’s economic development, clean energy and climate goals, including but not limited to:

  • Protecting and creating family-sustaining jobs in Maine’s growing and heritage industries;
  • Bolstering small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Creating “Hubs of Excellence” or clusters with ideal conditions for economic growth;
  • Attracting and retaining talent; and
  • Supporting Maine’s growing and heritage industries related to sustainable food sourcing, energy-efficient manufacturing and transportation, and clean energy.

* All projects selected through this program must comply with required state and federal permitting processes. The State’s role in this program is to provide technical assistance to assist communities to develop potential projects and identify potential funding sources.

Applicant Eligibility

Any community in Maine with eligible projects or sites (described above) is encouraged to apply for this program. The State will select 5-8 communities that are best fit to participate, with a focus on rural communities, and eligible applicants include but are not limited to:

  • Local governments
  • Quasi-public development organizations, such as economic development councils and regional planning organizations
  • Universities
  • Non-profit and community-based organizations
  • For-profit entities

Technical Assistance

The Project Team will identify promising ideas and provide economic development technical assistance to the selected communities, including but not limited to:

  • Project concept development and community visioning;
  • Site planning, financial analysis, community engagement, and partnership building;
  • Support in identifying and applying for state and federal funding;
  • Development of project governance team/strategy, and
  • Development of action plans to increase competitiveness for grant opportunities. 


Informational Meeting

An informational Zoom meeting on this program was held on on Monday, March 18. The meeting slides are available here.

Project Outline

A. Applications Open

In early 2024, the Project Team and partners released a survey to solicit project ideas for the program. The survey closed on Friday, April 12, 2024. The Project Team is currently assessing electric capacity, economic development opportunity, and overall program fit before selecting projects to participate in the program.

B. Informational Webinar

An informational Zoom meeting on this program was held on on Monday, March 18. The meeting slides are available here

C. Community Public Forums

Selected communities will receive support to host an initial public forum. The first community forum will provide an overview of the program, a discussion of one or more visions for the project, and an inventory of potential project partners (e.g. relevant local government departments, economic development partners, and others). The Project Team will help selected communities identify and recruit anchor partners to lead the second public forum and project planning and implementation. 

The second community forum will solicit stakeholder feedback on a refined project vision as well as the structure of emerging partnerships that will implement the project. This forum will also seek to recruit additional local partners to fill any gaps in expertise or capacity.

D. Agreement Drafting and Project Governance

The Project Team will collaborate with anchor partners to outline and sign agreements defining roles and responsibilities within the partnership structure.

E. Action Planning

The Project Team will support participating communities in drafting Action Plans. The Action Plan will include a project concept, business plan, funding/financing strategies, partner roles, offsite requirements, and a project implementation roadmap. The Action Plan will be a specific roadmap for securing public and private capital to implement the project.

The Project Team will also provide technical assistance and office hours related to economic development, needs assessments, market scans, financial feasibility studies, formation of capital stacks, federal funding applications, community engagement, partnership and project governance, and other needs throughout this process.

F. State/Federal Grant Application Support

The Project Team will assist participating communities in identifying and applying for state and federal grant opportunities based on the attributes of their project, geographic designation, and other criteria.


Please direct specific questions about this program to