Wiscasset company wins $250K grant

Mon, 08/16/2021 - 12:00pm

    Innovative companies in Wiscasset and Biddeford engaged in developing clean energy technology have each been awarded $250,000 through the Maine Clean Energy Innovation Challenge, a joint initiative of Maine Technology Institute (MTI) and the Governor’s Energy Office.

    Announced on Earth Day 2021 by Gov. Janet Mills, the Challenge was created to support companies with products or technologies that reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy and grow Maine’s clean energy economy. Mills has set a goal of doubling Maine’s clean energy jobs to 30,000 by 2030. The winning companies receiving are Farmhand Automation of Biddeford, which is developing technology to support carbon-free farming, and Peregrine Turbine Technologies of Wiscasset, which is advancing renewable power storage technology.

    “Innovative companies across Maine are leading the transition to a clean energy future,” said  Mills. “Farmhand Automation and Peregrine Turbine exemplify the ingenuity Maine needs to diversify our economy, create good-paying green-collar jobs, and combat climate change. I congratulate them on winning our Clean Energy Innovation Challenge, and I thank them for their contributions to our state.”

    "MTI supports Maine’s environmental and clean energy sector, including efforts to diversify it," said MTI President Brian Whitney. "This innovation challenge was an opportunity for MTI to take an active role in helping to identify promising and innovative technologies to help address the climate and clean energy goals of the state. And it’s a model that we can continue to replicate to help catalyze other sectors in our state.” 

    Peregrine is developing breakthrough turbine engine technology to store renewable power from solar and wind and make it available as power sources at any time of night or day. Paired with Thermal Energy Storage technology developed in Australia, these engines are a more efficient and environmentally friendly storage solution than lithium-ion batteries. The company announced in July that it plans a commercial pilot of its technology at a solar field in Pittsfield in 2022.

    Applications to the Challenge were solicited by MTI from May 14 to June 18. Respondents were expected to submit information to describe their proposed project and how it meets the challenge guidelines, history and track record, market assessment and commercial viability, value proposition, project duration and timeline, and economic impact.

    Responses were evaluated for those same criteria by MTI’s subject matter experts on its Environmental Technology Board and, as a condition of the awards, both recipients must demonstrate a minimum of one-to-one matching funding to the challenge grant, consistent with all MTI awards.