Three Maine Solar Projects - Fairfield, Clinton and Cumberland

Fairfield solar project wins Maine DEP approval
The Fairfield project is the largest planned solar array in Maine to receive DEP certification.

The company building multiple massive solar arrays throughout the state has received environmental approval for its project in Fairfield.

NextEra Energy Resources won approval April 11 from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to move forward with the Fairfield project and is awaiting approval for a similar project in Clinton, two towns just outside of Waterville......................................NextEra – a Florida-based company that recently took over the assets of Ranger Solar out of southern Maine – is one of the largest generators of solar energy in the country and develops other forms of renewable energy. The company is the largest owner and operator of wind generating facilities in the country..........................................The two projects are expected to produce 20 megawatts of energy each, enough to power upwards of 3,000 homes, and are projected to cost $30 million each.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Once operational, the sites would create four full-time jobs.

Town of Cumberland pursuing deal with ReVision Energy for municipal solar array
But the proposed site of a 1,376-panel installation, atop a capped landfill on Drowne Road, creates concern about the impact on nearby property values.

No public comment was taken at the council’s meeting last week, which riled several audience members who live at the nearby Village Green housing development. The neighbors have concerns about the visual impact of a solar farm, as well as adverse effects on their property values.....................Gruber confirmed with Denny Gallaudet of the Cumberland Climate Action Team that no other locations had been considered for the solar panel.....................

Councilor George Turner cautioned residents against assuming their property values would be compromised by a nearby solar array. “I can assure you that we don’t have any desire to diminish anybody’s values, because that’s where revenues come from, and that’s where taxes are paid,” he said.........................When the tax credits expire in about six years, the town could purchase the array for about $663,000, according to ReVision’s proposal. The municipality could then have free electricity for the life of the array, which could be 40 years. The town could save $2.4 million as a result, Cumberland Climate Action Team member Eric Fitz said in February.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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Comment by Penny Gray on April 30, 2018 at 11:37am

Having seen how long the panels remained covered in snow and ice this winter at the installation in the Waterville/Colby college vicinity off I-295, I think these panels should be limited to rooftop installations. Why destroy open space for so little gain?  Winters and nighttime are hell on solar panels.  There are plenty of commercial rooftops that are nice and flat.  Put them there.

Comment by John F. Hussey on April 30, 2018 at 10:41am

Solar in Maine???? There may be some benefit to local solar on or next to homes and businesses but not grid scale solar.  The seals on most solar panels degrade after 6 to 8 years which leads to panel failure.  Panels don't like hail!  Who's going to clean the panels and shovel off the snow and ice?  Solar in Maine is all about tax credits!  Solar in Maine...LOOK OUTSIDE!

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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