Energy Facility Construction
Maine’s Apprenticeship in Energy Facility Construction (“Green New Deal for Maine”) law went into effect in January of 2021. Rules were adopted by the Maine Department of Labor in January of 2022.
The Bureau of Labor Standards is responsible for enforcing this law in accordance with the rules.
This law requires that, to the extent that qualified apprentices are determined to be available, construction employers constructing a generation facility of 2 megawatts or more employ an established percentage of qualified apprentices for their construction projects.
The number of apprentices must equal at least:
- If construction of the generation facility begins on or after January 1, 2021, and before January 1, 2025, 10% of all persons employed in the construction;
- If construction of the generation facility begins on or after January 1, 2025, and before January 1, 2027, 17.5% of all persons employed in the construction; and
- If construction of the generation facility begins on or after January 1, 2027, 25% of all persons employed in the construction.
The requirements are specified by the law, Title 26, Chapter 43 and by Rules in 12-170: Bureau of Labor Standards:
- Ch. 19 Rules Governing Apprenticeship in Construction of Energy Generation Facilities.
Maine’s new Act Concerning Equity in Renewable Energy Projects and Workforce Development takes effect on August 8, 2022. In addition to setting standards for pre-apprenticeship training programs, it brings certain energy facility projects under Maine’s existing Prevailing Wage law (Minimum Wage Rates on State Construction Projects, 26 MRS Chapter 15) beginning on January 1st of 2023.
Specifically, it requires contractors and subcontractors working on the construction of renewable energy generating systems that are at least 2 megawatts in size and receive state assistance—which it defines as "assisted projects”—to pay construction workers at least the minimum wages and benefits for each occupation and area, as determined by the Department’s Bureau of Labor Standards.
It further provides that employers may pay the established apprentice rate only to apprentices on the project who participate in a registered apprenticeship program.
Further guidance on these new provisions will be available as the effective date approaches.
Bill with the new requirement:
- Chapter 705 Printed Chapter PDF (These are unofficial documents that may contain errors. See the Session Laws Of Maine, when available, for a final version.)
Prevailing Wage Statute (26 MRS Chapter 15):
- Rules (BLS Chapter 13):Ch. 13 Rules Governing the Establishment and Use of Fair Minimum Wage Rates on State Construction Projects
Q. Is the owner of a facility a “Person constructing a generating facility” (i.e.- included in the definition as an entity who has a significant measure of control)?
Q. What forms, if any, is the construction employer required to submit to the Maine Department of Labor?
Q. How can the construction employer meet the requirements of this law?
Q. How does a construction employer show that they made a reasonable effort to employ qualified apprentices?
Q. Can apprentices reside in other states?
Q. Are apprentices from all apprenticeable occupations counted together to meet the required percentage? Can all be from one occupation?
Q. What occupations are included in determining the number of persons employed in the construction (Section 3502.1. A, B & C), all or just apprenticeable? What occupations are considered apprenticeable?
Q. When is a construction considered to begin?