LEWISTON – Environmentalism is only one reason Auburn-born resident Mark Isaacson is backing a solar alternative to Central Maine Power Co.’s $1.5 billion power-line project.

“I don’t want to downplay the environmental impact, because it’s significant,” Isaacson said. “But from a business point of view, it just makes sense.”

Isaacson, the son of Irving Isaacson, senior partner at local law firm Brann and Isaacson, has made the business part of energy his livelihood.

“From a developer’s point of view, we’ve dealt exclusively in renewable energy resources,” Isaacson said. “But for our customers, we’ve done all of it, and if you’re going to buy energy, you have to at least buy some fossil fuel.”

Finding energy for clients, whether cities, towns or manufacturers, is what Isaacson and partner Richard Silkman do. As Competitive Energy Services, a Portland-based energy consultant, they find and purchase energy resources for a wide scope of clients nationwide.

It’s long way from where Isaacson, a 1972 Edward Little High School graduate, started.

After finishing business school at the University of Chicago, he returned to Maine and worked in a more traditional industry.

“I worked for blueberry, poultry, fishing and other food producers,” he said. “It just didn’t seem very promising.”

That’s when he began looking at energy generation and use. He spent the 1990s focusing on hydroelectric power, helping to develop Lisbon’s Worumbo Mill facility, as well as another mill on the Kennebec River.

He joined Silkman in 1999 and began looking at all forms of energy generation.

“The problem with most non-renewable energy resources is that we don’t have good storage solutions,” he said. “We don’t have a way to generate the electricity and save it for when you need it. That’s why we still need fossil fuels, because they set the energy aside for when we need it.”


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