September 10, 2021
Today, U.S. Senator Angus King toured the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) in Portland with Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, and shared a conversation with her and ORPC leadership to highlight benefits Maine people will see from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Together, they stressed the need to strengthen our energy grid, promote clean energies, and create more resilient coastal infrastructure as recent natural disasters have demonstrated America’s outdated approach to extreme weather events.
ORPC is a leading international marine renewable energy company headquartered in Portland that pioneered a modular emission-free river turbine system.
“Today, Secretary Granholm got to see firsthand how Maine’s renewable energy community has led the way in modern approaches to clean power generation; we also looked ahead at how important the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will be to communities across Maine in the global fight against climate change,” said Senator King. “If it passes the House, the IIJA will provide historic investments that will spur economic development, create good-paying clean energy jobs at companies like ORPC, and help coastal communities across our state and country adapt to the threats of climate change by funding resilient infrastructure.”
“This summer, we reached a ‘code red’ on the climate crisis — raising the urgency for clean energy deployment. The Biden Administration is taking a silver buckshot approach to building the clean energy future for Maine and all of America, including marine and hydro energy solutions. The efforts Senator King and I saw today align with our goals: Deploying proven clean energy technologies already available and innovating our way to cheaper, more efficient solutions,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
"It was an honor for ORPC to host Senator King and Secretary Granholm and have them bring visibility to our company’s commercial underwater power systems and explain how their use benefits job creation and climate change solutions," said Stuart Davies, ORPC CEO. "Our company’s products are consistent with the goals of the federal infrastructure package and create international export opportunities as well as domestic clean energy solutions."
As part of the bipartisan group that crafted the Senate’s infrastructure legislation and a member of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, Senator King has been heavily involved in drafting and negotiating the IIJA. From his seat on the ENR Committee, Senator King helped shape the legislation’s energy provisions to enhance the nation’s investment in research and development for clean energy storage, strengthen our efforts to recycle and reuse critical minerals that are essential to transformational energy technologies, and bolster the energy grid’s cybersecurity protections. After the legislation’s Senate passage last month, Senator King continues to tout the bill’s potential to positively impact on Maine’s infrastructure, drinking water, and electric grid. Senator King is also a founding member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which pursues political consensus to address the urgency of climate change worldwide.
At the event, Senator King and Secretary Granholm lauded the IIJA - specifically highlighting the millions of dollars it will invest to support marine energy research at companies like ORPC, the more than $1 billion it includes to bolster the U.S. energy grid with specific carve outs for remote communities, and the tax incentives included in the package to support domestic manufacturing and build the supply chains necessary to power a clean energy transition here at home.
Since 2009, ORPC has contributed more than $40 million to Maine’s economy, and employed more than 280 contractors and suppliers in 14 of the state’s 16 counties. Along with their international headquarters in Portland, they have an operations center in Eastport, and a device assembly facility in Brunswick. Earlier this year, Senator King and the Maine Delegation secured ORPC $3,615,260 from the Department of Energy to improve the next generation of river-powered turbines. This investment will create more than a dozen good-paying new jobs – most of which will be in Maine.