The Chewonki Renewable Hydrogen Project

The Chewonki Renewable Hydrogen Project was a joint venture between the Hydrogen Energy Center, The Chewonki Foundation and Maine Energy Investment Corporation with primary funding from the Maine Technology Institute. The brainchild of the Hydrogen Energy Center’s Richard Smith and Chewonki’s Peter Arnold, it is a demonstration project that is helping bring Maine and the world closer to a healthy, sustainable environment by:

  • Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy systems using hydrogen generators, storage and fuel cells;
  • Benefitting educational, research, governmental and business interests and stimulating hydrogen technology business development in Maine; and
  • Developing and enhancing relationships among renewable energy interests, educational and research organizations, industry organizations, code enforcement officials, and renewable energy designers and contractors who would specify, install and maintain these systems.

The project consists of three major programs:

  • System development: The design, installation and operation of a hydrogen energy system fueled by renewable energy. This system provides four days backup power for critical activities at Chewonki’s Center for Environmental Education.
  • General Outreach: An extensive public outreach program that includes on-site displays, the expansion of Chewonki’s existing Sustainable Energy Education Tour and several brochures and workshop outlines to introduce general audiences to hydrogen energy systems.
  • Technical Outreach: A technical and business support program for Maine’s renewable energy industry to embrace hydrogen technologies. This program includes the collaboration and experience gained by the partners in completing the project; the development of a “Design for Hydrogen” brochure and workshop for design, engineering and construction professionals; and the preparation of a proposal for a conference aimed at expanding Maine’s renewable energy economy by gathering venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and R&D principals.

The Hydrogen Energy Center brings technical and project management expertise to the Chewonki Renewable Hydrogen Project. Most of the primary system designers, the code researchers, those who did the construction, and the project manager are volunteers from the Hydrogen Energy Center. 


  • November 15, 2006: Design For Hydrogen workshop held at the DoubleTree Hotel, Portland, ME. 
  • August 28, 2006: System Unveiling. Governor John Baldacci declared the Chewonki Renewable Hydrogen Project "a perfect example of Maine businesses and organizations uniting local business development, environmental sustainability, and energy independence."
  • August 10, 2004: $165,000 cash funding goal complete
  • December 10, 2003: Maine Technology Institute awards $120,000 to the Chewonki Renewable Hydrogen Project! $80,000 as a Cluster Grant, $40,000 from Maine's Renewable Resource Matching Fund.

Project Owners


The Chewonki Foundation Hydrogen Energy Center


Project Benefactors and Partners

Maine Technology Institute  Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust

Maine Center for Enterprise Development (MCED)

   Phelps Clarke

U.S. Department of Energy Fire Risk Management, Inc.

 Fulcrum Digital Imaging

  Heliotropic Enterprises

 Robert H. Ingersoll  Ion Design Group


  Steven Kercel

   Maine Energy Investment Corporation

  Maine Oxy

 Maine Public Utilities Commission

  Chuck Mainville

 Michael Metcalfe  Mid-Coast Energy

OEST Associates, Inc.  Alfred Padula

 PM&C Engineering Praxair, Inc

 Results Engineering SolarWinds NorthernLights

 Joshua Tosteson, HydroGen LLC