As we get closer to the kickoff of the 3rd annual Maine Science Festival, we decided to catch up with a company who has been a sponsor and partner from the start: Emera Maine. Even though just about everyone in Maine has probably heard of Emera Maine, we’re betting that there is some information from our conversation that will be news to you, too!
MSF: What does Emera Maine do and where in Maine do serve?
Emera Maine: We work to deliver safe, efficient and reliable power to the people of Maine, serving communities in northern and eastern Maine.
MSF: What types of science and engineering do you rely on the most?
Emera Maine: Science is involved with everything Emera Maine does. Electrical engineering and environmental science are very important, of course. We also rely on civil, mechanical and materials science engineering as well as chemistry, forestry, ergonomics, physics, meteorology, geology, computer science, statistics, data management and more.
MSF: Forestry is a topic that I bet would surprise some people. Can you explain a how you rely on forestry in your work?
Emera Maine: Tree trimming and vegetation management are important to ensure the reliable delivery of electricity. Trees are one of the primary causes of power outages, whether from limbs brushing against lines or from large branches or trees pulling down lines in bad weather. As part of our commitment to environmental stewardship, Emera Maine and its contractors adhere to International Society of Arboriculture standards, work to use best practices in forestry and follow all applicable environmental laws in maintaining and improving our transmission and distribution system.
MSF: Is there a science-based project that Emera Maine has that Mainers wouldn’t expect from a utility?
Emera Maine: You may have noticed that there are osprey nests on the power poles that can be seen along Interstate 95, around mile marker 155. Emera Maine crews may encounter ospreys (or other endangered or threatened species) in the course of their work, so the utility has a program outlining how to maintain safe and reliable power while working to protect wildlife. As part of the program, we have established nesting platforms for ospreys in an effort to prevent them from endangering themselves and creating hazards with nests on power poles.
MSF: Emera Maine has been a fantastic sponsor of and partner to the MSF, and you’ve had a presence at our first two festivals. Why have you been so enthusiastic to be part of the MSF network?
Emera Maine: We want to help build a stronger Maine by supporting programs that engage young people, particularly in the areas of safety, science and wellness. We believe such contributions make a difference in the communities in which we live, work and play. We’re proud to be a sponsor of the Maine Science Festival and hope everyone involved enjoys the event.