The Roux Institute in Portland will receive nearly $1 million in grant funding to develop a clean energy incubator program that could support up to 40 startup companies over the next two years.

Gov. Janet Mills, shown at an event for Roux Institute in 2020, last year announced $2.5 million in grants to nine organizations under the Clean Energy Partnership program. Michael Kelley/The Forecaster

The money was awarded through the Clean Energy Partnership program created by the Governor’s Energy Office with funds from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, the state’s share of funding from the federal American Rescue Plan.

“We are honored to receive this funding that will enable the launch of a Clean Tech Incubator as well as a suite of programs with key partners to attract, engage and grow clean energy startups in Maine such as networking events and a Start Summit,” said Chris Wolfel, associate vice president of entrepreneurship and venture creation at the Roux Institute. “These programs will not only advance clean energy solutions and engage innovative startups, but also spur job creation and economic vitality in Maine.”

The Roux Institute, a part of Northeastern University, opened in Portland in 2020 as a graduate school and research center and has plans to expand its campus in the coming years. In addition to the $975,000 awarded to Roux, two other organizations were selected for grants:

Coastal Enterprises Inc. of Brunswick was given $300,000 to develop a business advising program aimed at growing and scaling contractor businesses that deliver home weatherization and energy efficiency services in rural and low-income communities.

Central Maine Growth Council in Waterville was awarded $111,774 to expand its Dirigo Labs startup accelerator and pitch contest to provide startup coaching, advisement, and research and development support for clean energy and clean tech startups.

“Through these investments, Maine will continue to become a hub for entrepreneurs and professionals in these growing fields, in support of advancing Maine’s economy and meeting our goal of having 30,000 clean energy jobs in Maine by 2030,” said Dan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Energy Office.

Last December, the governor’s office announced $2.5 million in grants to nine organizations under the Clean Energy Partnership program. Through those investments, more than 300 people have received training, credentialing, and/or job placement, and more than 1,700 have received clean energy education and career outreach.

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