The Solar Energy Association of Maine (SEAM) exists to promote and facilitate the development of solar electricity throughout the State of Maine. SEAM is a Maine 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation, governed by a diverse Board of Directors.
SEAM supports the development of policies designed to encourage the construction and operation of solar electricity generating facilities of all sizes and ownership models, including residential rooftop solar panels, municipal and non-profit projects, commercial projects, and utility-scale installations. It provides facts and related information about solar electricity to a range of audiences, including cost data and the economic, social, and environmental benefits of “going solar.”
SEAM springs from a sense of shared obligation to mitigate the worst effects of human-caused climate disruption, both globally and in Maine. This is a here-and-now challenge, requiring urgent and effective action. Our vision is a world marked by a growing conversion to clean energy in all sectors, with photovoltaic solar production emerging as a leading technology in electricity generation. SEAM’s mission is to help Maine along this path as rapidly as possible, in the process seeking greater energy security and economic development (job) benefits while reducing our environmental impacts.
SEAM is a nonpartisan organization designed to be a melting pot of people and organizations who share this vision and sense of purpose, who want to promote understanding of the virtues of solar electricity and facilitate its development in Maine. Its principal activities include:
- Participating in statewide energy policymaking – at the Maine State Legislature, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and other public forums – advocating for progressive solar energy policies, laws, rules and regulations.
- Providing factual information about the economic, social, and environmental attributes (costs and benefits) of solar electricity – typically from original sources.
- Working in cooperation with allied people and organizations who share our vision.
SEAM does not wish to displace or hinder any other group or organization advocating for progressive solar policy and initiatives. It intends to be additive and powerful through its diversity.
As of March 1, 2017, SEAM is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors, appointed by its incorporators. Current and future directors will be drawn from a cross-section of solar advocates and relevant disciplines, including but not limited to (i) solar installers, (ii) economists, (iii) attorneys, (iv) sustainability advocates, (v) municipalities, (vi) consumer-owned cooperative utilities, (vii) colleges, (viii) community development corporations, (ix) cooperative solar projects (e.g., community solar farms), and (x) large-scale project developers. The Board will adopt procedures that allow it to respond in a timely way to rapidly changing events, particularly in a legislative or rule-making context. The Board of Directors makes decisions and takes positions on behalf of the Association.
Anyone with an interest in solar energy can join the Solar Energy Association of Maine, and will be welcome, although SEAM is not a member organization in legal form. Individuals, companies, and other organizations who join SEAM will be invaluable sources of information and help SEAM set priorities. Members will be encouraged to provide advice, perspective, stories, contacts, studies and other information to further the goal of further solar energy development. Members may be mobilized for supportive activities in legislative and policy-making venues.
Overall, SEAM will function as a broad coalition to support progressive solar electricity policies and initiatives, marked by rapid-response Board action. At least at the outset, SEAM is operating as a volunteer organization so it can focus all its energy on the substance of its work. There are no dues, and the directors are not paid or reimbursed for their expenses.