The Community Energy Center (CEC) brings together existing sustainability and renewable energy efforts at College of the Atlantic and surrounding communities. We offer continuity and support to a variety of energy initiatives so that they may be replicated and scaled in communities across the state.

Through hands-on projects, data collection, and educational outreach, the CEC aims to be a resource for homeowners, businesses, municipalities,  and nonprofits. Our goal is to empower these entities to rethink their energy consumption and generation in ways that offer economic prosperity and create resilient communities. To that end, the CEC explores and implements innovative, renewable energy projects that increase public participation, utilize novel forms of financing, and optimize local governance to establish successful community sustainability initiatives.


Samsø Energy Academy, Samsø, DenmarkSamsø Energy Academy, Samsø, Denmark

Inspired by COA’s collaborative work with Søren Hermansen and Malene Lundén of the Samsø Energy Academy on the island of Samsø, Denmark, the creation of the Community Energy Center in 2016 represents the culmination of several years of sustainability and energy work at COA. Samsø became the world’s first 100 percent renewable energy island in 2007 through an energy transition that included citizen participation and economic rejuvenation. In a similar process, the CEC aims to spark energy initiatives across Maine and help citizens take control of their energy future.


The CEC at COA:
Created by 2018 Summer Energy Fellow Junesoo Shin (’21), this video provides an introduction to the CEC.
 Current projects:
  • Solar for Businesses and Farms (SBF) program is designed to provide 50 or more Hancock County businesses and agriculture producers with solar energy assessments and energy efficiency education
  • Research and development of community solar arrays in Mount Desert, Trenton, and Southwest Harbor
  • Improving electric vehicle transportation and connectivity across MDI by working collaboratively with local stakeholders
  • Home energy audits and air sealing project aims to insulate MDI homes and replace outdated heating systems with more efficient, renewable energy alternatives  

Recent News from the CEC

  • NEWS
    Sustainability Opportunities Abound at College of the Atlantic
    COA’s pioneering, trans-disciplinary curriculum is ranked among the Top 10 for integrating sustainability education, according to the 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, a publication featuring high-impact and innovative initiatives from colleges and universities worldwide.