Marie Caspard

Renewable Energy

New Mainer

Where did you move from and what made you make the move to Maine?

I came up to Maine from the Washington, D.C. suburbs for four years at Bowdoin College. I was fairly confident I wanted to work in the environmental sector and was drawn to the college’s strong environmental studies program and overall excellent liberal arts education.

How do you spend your time here in Maine?

I spend a good chunk of my time at my company’s office on the Fish Pier in downtown Portland. Outside of work, on lower key days, I like to putz around in stores and coffee shops in town (my new favorite is the Ugly Duckling!), grab a beer (so many options!), or go for a nice beach walk. I recently started taking piano lessons at the Portland Conservatory of Music, so you’ll often find me practicing in their studios. On more adventurous days, I’ll ski in the winter and go for hikes and paddles in the summer. I feel blessed to have such a variety of options.

What do you love about working in Maine?

For starters, my commute to work is a lovely fifteen minute stroll into downtown Portland. The colleagues I work with are a passionate, smart, and kind group of folks working to commercialize hydrokinetic energy – it’s exciting stuff! Beyond my office, Maine has a vibrant energy and environment scene with quite a few industry groups organizing get-togethers, film screenings, and conferences. It’s energizing to learn about and from the many folks working on the energy transition and environmental protection in the state.

What do you love about living in Maine?

One of Bowdoin’s essay prompts was to reflect on “connection to place.” When I was applying to colleges, I thought it was a bit of a strange prompt, but over my seven years here, I realized that “connection to place” is genuinely very strong. Most folks are proud to be Mainers and feel protective of the state’s landscapes, industries, and culture. It’s a very special thing when most folks choose to stay and invest in the place they call home. Despite (or maybe because of) its small size and rurality, Maine is full of dynamic, innovative, and ambitious folks. I developed my own connection to place and moved down to Portland after graduating and have been here since!

Tell us a bit about your story!

At ORPC (Ocean Renewable Power Company), I support our project development work, primarily through site characterization, market research, and regulatory support. I get to apply my environmental science background to evaluate sites for their hydrokinetic energy potential and suitability with our devices. In Maine, I’ve gone up to Millinocket and Eastport -where the company has deployed devices- and have really enjoyed opportunities for field data collection and community outreach. I do a lot of the company’s geospatial analysis and love getting out in the field to see the data come alive. As a young person deeply committed to addressing the climate crisis, it’s very motivating to work for a company developing innovative renewable energy solutions right here in Maine.

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