Monday, 29 January 2018 08:29

MDI Energy Summit brings in large crowd Featured

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BAR HARBOR - Renewable energy, It's been a topic of discussion in Maine in recent years.

Wind power has seen its fair share of attention with our expansive coastline, but this weekend, one event focused on the sun.


Mount Desert Island sees a lot of rays throughout the year. And "A Climate To Thrive" is celebrating its second year of encouraging MDI become energy independent by holding a community wide summit Sunday entitled "Powering Our Future."


Mount Desert Island High School was packed well beyond the hoped for 200 participants today, who came to hear from professionals on how to save on energy costs. Danny Piper, co-owner of Sundog Solar, said  "I'm really impressed with the turnout. It's more than I was originally expecting."


Organizer Gary Friedmann is looking forward to helping islanders weatherize their homes this year. Especially after the success of last years "Solarize MD!." He said "We doubled the amount of solar panels on the island in just a few months. This year we are launching "Weatherize MDI" to help homeowners and businesses reduce the energy consumption in their buildings."


Piper one of the many vendors at the summit also wants to see the island become solar dependent. He stated "When you compare Maine to other New England states we really lag behind in how much power we installed."


That community based desire to better their energy consumption as well as energize the local rural economy is why they asked Josh Castonguay to be the days key note speaker. Castonguay said "What we've seen in Vermont is starting with a community that is engaged and wants to see change happen, that's a huge step forward in terms of making a change in the energy world."


As VP of innovation at a successful renewable energy company Castonguay sees a lot of hope and desire in MDI.


As do the days organizers. Friedmann concluded "I think that A Climate To Thrive is going to help people feel energized, engaged, and empowered to take our future back into our own hands."


To find out more about A Climate To Thrive and how you can become involved if you're interested, head to their website