ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine is set to host a talk, “LEAN In: Building and Researching a Statewide Local Energy & Climate Action Network in Maine,” at 3 p.m. Monday, April 3.

The talk will be held both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus.

In this talk, Sharon Klein — associate professor in the School of Economics and a faculty fellow of the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine — will provide a vision for a Maine Local Energy & climate Action Networks (LEANs) and the research possibilities related to it, as well as an overview of existing LEANs in other states.

Maine communities have been taking local action on sustainable energy adoption and climate change adaptation for decades. However, there has not been a coordinated effort at the state level to directly support these projects until recently, according to a news release from Ruth Hallsworth with the center.

Statewide LEANs like those in Vermont and New Hampshire provide regular peer-learning opportunities, training, information about funding and other resources to help community-scale projects be successful and learn from each other. With statewide partnerships and local regional groups now active, Maine has the necessary pieces to form a LEAN.

Klein’s research and teaching are multidisciplinary, centering on the physical, economic, environmental and social/cultural tradeoffs inherent in sustainable energy decision-making. She is interested in all sustainable energy options, but especially residential and community-driven solar energy and energy efficiency, and options that advance energy equity and justice.


All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free. Registration is required to attend remotely; to register and receive connection information, visit umaine.edu/mitchellcenter.

Face coverings are required for all persons attending Mitchell Center Sustainability Talks. For the latest UMaine health and safety guidance, see umaine.edu/return.

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Hallsworth at 207-581-3196 or hallsworth@maine.edu.



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