In November 2009, the town applied for a $10,000 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) to study the feasibility of installing renewable energy facilities on municipally owned properties. The EECBG funds are administered through Efficiency Maine, and are part of the Federal Government 19s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Ultimately, the funds are distributed to Efficiency Maine by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).
In March 2010, the town was awarded the EECBG Template Grant. Bar Harbor is one of 34 communities statewide that received such funds. The town accepted the contract with Efficiency Maine in June 2010, and received the initial deposit of $8,000 in July the same year. A Request for Proposal (RFP) to complete the study was prepared and posted to the town website, Maine Municipal website, local newspapers, and was directly distributed to a list of consultants throughout the state. Three proposals were received as a result of the RFP, and through a competitive review process, Weston and Sampson Consulting Engineers of Peabody, Massachusetts were selected to prepare the feasibility study.
Pursuant to the directives of the RFP and overall purpose of the EECBG Template Grant, Weston and Sampson has prepared a feasibility study with appendices which assesses the environmental / economic costs and benefits of installing renewable energy facilities on municipally owned properties. Specifically, the report focuses on installing wind and solar energy systems, and outlines an action plan and strategy for implementing the findings of the report. Weston and Sampson will present its findings, and possible next steps for implementation, to the town council at its March 15th meeting.