South Portland companies get $1.5M in energy grants

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Two companies were awarded more than $1.5 million in grants for projects that will increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse emissions.

The Maine Renewable Energy Consortium received $1 million and Fairchild Semiconductor received nearly $540,000, according to the governor’s office.

The grants are part of $8.9 million awarded on Wednesday to 16 projects under Maine’s Industrial Grant Program, administered by the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s Efficiency Maine program.

MREC is working on plans to build an “eco-park” near Rigby Yard. The first phase, estimated to cost $23 million to $27 million, would convert wood to electricity, steam and water. Some of the power would be sold to Hannaford Bros.’ distribution center and Portland Shellfish on Rumery Road.

Evelyn deFrees, of the PUC, said Fairchild will use the funds to reduce perfluorocarbons, or PFC, emissions.