State looking to help wild blueberry industry

Maine lawmakers might try to pump some life into the state’s troubled wild blueberry industry by overhauling the makeup of the commission that promotes the state’s most important fruit crop.

Maine is America’s sole significant commercial producer of wild blueberries. These are smaller than the ubiquitous cultivated blueberries and are used in lots of frozen and processed products. The industry is weathering a difficult time, as harvesters collected about 57 million pounds of the fruit in 2018, down nearly 11 million pounds from the previous year. Prices have been lukewarm, too.

Source: Portland Press Herald

 Business and Labor Groups Support Of The CMP Transmission Project 

A coalition of business and labor groups has come out in support of a controversial proposed 145-mile transmission line through Western Maine.

The group, calling itself Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs, includes the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, labor unions and the construction firm Cianbro. The group is receiving funding from the Maine Chamber of Commerce. The proposed line would deliver electricity from a Hydro Quebec dam system through Maine to customers in Canada.

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Source: Maine Public

Fiberight waste-to-energy site to convert tons of trash to energy or recycling

When the Fiberight Corp. waste-to-energy plant goes online in Hampden later this year, it’s going to take on an awesome task — converting 80% of the waste it takes in either into renewable energy or recycling it. On average, more than half the waste Americans produce goes into landfills.

It will process 180,000 tons of municipal trash a year from 115 municipalities once it’s fully operational. What will come out is clean cellulose, bio-gas, plastics and engineered fuel, metals, waste paper and corrugated cardboard.

Source:  Mainebiz.biz

American Jobs Project: Offshore wind could support 2,100 Maine jobs annually 

Maine’s offshore wind potential and the expertise it’s already gained through the Maine Aqua Ventus project is a “significant economic opportunity for job growth” that could support an annual average of more than 2,100 jobs through 2030.

That’s the conclusion of “The Maine Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Offshore Wind,” a 57-page report released today by the American Jobs Project, a nonprofit based in Berkeley, Calif., that identifies economic opportunities for each of the 50 states based on its unique innovation ecosystem, access to capital, workforce development, value chain build-out and local market growth.

Source:  Mainebiz.biz

Rumford board approves permit for large-scale water extraction 

RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Thursday evening to approve an application for a permit for large-scale water extraction.The Rumford Water District will be allowed to draw up to 650,000 gallons per day, instead of up to 588,700 gallons per day, from two district wells.“The project will be owned and operated by the Rumford Water District, and it will be sold to Poland Spring (Water Co.) under a contract signed last August, district Superintendent Brian Gagnon said.

Source: Lewiston Sun Journal