A Maine town and an island are part of an interesting-looking federal Department of Energy program to help “remote and island” communities with the energy transition, mostly by figuring out renewable alternatives to shipping is tons of diesel for generators. Many of the places, not surprisingly, are in Alaska: Details are here.

One is Islesboro, just off the coast near Bangor and “relies on the mainland for their electricity, oil, gas, internet, and food. Islesboro is seeking to employ energy efficiency measures for their municipal and residential buildings, as well as researching renewable resource potential and storage options to be more self-sufficient.”

More interesting is Eastport, a town on Moose Island at the extreme eastern tip of Maine, just over the international border from FDR’s haunt, Campobello Island. It’s interesting because the DOE statement mentions the desire to “leverage their huge tidal resource potential” and create a microgrid. Eastport has long been the site of research into tidal energy, trying to tap those famous Bay of Fundy tides. Not much has come of it so far (making equipment work in the ocean is hard) but there are signs that tidal power might actually become a real thing. The big selling point is that it’s very consistent and predictable, unlike a lot of renewable energy.

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