Members of E2Tech, an organization dedicated to building Maine’s environmental and energy technology economy, kept their annual meeting casual with a holiday mixer at Foundation Brewing in Portland, taking just a few minutes to vote in new board members.

“Beer brings us all together. It’s a unifier,” said Daniel Hendrich of Clearway Energy, partly joking. “But, seriously, it’s an exciting time for renewable energy in Maine. There’s a lot of interest. We’re excited to start building the infrastructure of the future.”

The 100 or so attendees of the Dec. 1 indoor-outdoor event, with Muthah Truckah food truck on site, included scientists, engineers, environmental consultants, solar specialists and clean-energy entrepreneurs.

“We’re kind of the pocket protector crowd,” said Executive Director Martin Grohman, who describes himself as a “connector” of tech-minded folks. “We’re the people who are building the clean energy economy. Our board members stay on top of trends and facilitate discussions about energy and the environment.”

E2Tech, which is short for Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine, will be 20 years old in January. It was co-founded by Suzanne Watson, now the director of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and John Ferland, president of Ocean Renewable Power Company, a marine renewable energy company based in Portland.

The innovations coming out of this group keep coming. “There’s even a guy here selling carbon credits based on biochar,” Grohman said, referring to Kelley Attenboro of Standard Biocarbon.

Attenboro was talking tech with Jessica Kandel, who also specializes in the forest economy working for Thornton Thomasetti, a global scientific and engineering consulting firm. “We’re focused on mass timber design in the built environment with a sustainable building material that reduces carbon,” she said.

Nate Levesque of event sponsor Eaton Peabody said, “There are a lot of people in this room whom we represent or work with in our corporate, real estate, environmental, land use or energy practices.”

Sevee & Maher Engineers and Mascoma Bank were also event sponsors.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at [email protected]


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