Another solar farm in Maine has bumped into a grid capacity problem

This article comes from The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting which was founded by Naomi Schalit and John Christie in 2009.  Their website is here:

Solar farm hits grid capacity 

by Kate Cough | March 12, 2023

Another solar farm has bumped into a grid capacity problem — this one in Searsport, where New Hampshire-based ReWild Renewables has scaled back plans for a 5 megawatt solar farm to 1.2 megawatts, a fraction of its initial proposed size, according to reporting in the Belfast Republican Journal.

The Searsport proposal is the latest in a slew of energy projects attempting to connect to a grid that’s aging and undersized for our increasingly electrified world. Late last year, in Trenton, a man ran into a similar issue when he wanted to put up solar panels on his house and was told the grid was at capacity, according to The Ellsworth American.

Roughly 6% of homes in the United States have solar panels; that number is expected to grow to 15% by 2030. Solar accounts for about 5% of energy generation overall in the United States and roughly 3% in Maine.

“Really, Maine is looking at needing to invest in the grid and make some major upgrades in order for anymore solar to really happen in Maine,” ReWild’s Vice President of Project Development Joe Harrison told the Journal.

There were 8,100 energy projects waiting to connect to grids nationwide at the end of 2021, up 44% compared to the year before. In New England, most of the projects waiting in the wings were for offshore wind turbines, solar panels or standalone battery banks. This has clogged the interconnection queue and meant developers are now waiting an average of 4 years for approval, twice as long as a decade ago.

A graphic detailing the number of projects waiting to connect to the New England grid. 980w, 480w" sizes="(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 480px) 480px, (min-width: 481px) and (max-width: 980px) 980px, (min-width: 981px) 1038px, 100vw" width="1038" height="808" />

Projects awaiting connection to the New England grid, in total megawatt capacity, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Most of these will never be built — between 2000 and 2016, only a quarter of proposed projects made it through the interconnection queue, according to research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“You can pass big, ambitious climate laws, but if you don’t pay attention to details like interconnection rules, you can quickly run into trouble,” David Gahl, executive director of the Solar and Storage Industries Institute, recently told The New York Times, referring to how lawmakers in Maine and Massachusetts offered generous incentives for small-scale solar installations but did not address the interconnection aspect in advance. “There’s a lesson there.”

Lawmakers are trying to fix the issue, and have directed the Maine Public Utilities Commission to undertake a grid planning process aimed at helping understand the state’s current infrastructure and looking at near-term investments that could be made to alleviate the backlog. (This recent Forbes piece discusses some of the challenges and possible solutions to the nation’s transmission line buildout problem, if you’re interested.)

“Hopefully undertaking that process should show what is actually happening on the ground,” Sen. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth) told The American. “Where does the grid need to be rebuilt and in what order.”


The full article can be read at:


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Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on March 14, 2023 at 1:03pm

Nausea inducing:
Letter: Pine Tree Power will better confront climate change
Climate change is here, and it is directly impacting our lives. We need to take immediate and comprehensive action now to address this threat by replacing fossil fuels with renewable electricity. Perhaps the single best step that we can take is to support the consumer-owned utility initiative. For-profit investor-owned utility corporations Central Maine Power and Versant Power have proven themselves expensive and inept. They can’t access low-cost capital; Pine Tree Power can. If you care about climate change, vote next fall to replace CMP and Versant with Pine Tree Power, a nonprofit consumer-owned utility. ~ Francis Weld, Scarborough

Comment by Dan McKay on March 14, 2023 at 12:26pm


Methinks you have uncovered the reason some so and so(s) want us to turnover CMP and Versant to government appointed CEOs.

Comment by arthur qwenk on March 14, 2023 at 11:49am
"Everything is possible when you do not know what you are talking about ".
John Kennedy, US Senator Louisiana
Comment by arthur qwenk on March 14, 2023 at 11:41am

Just Another Shill piece for failed Renewable Power , with only the idiots supporting the concept, and offering the solutions  that "Joe and Jill public" will be ordered to pay for ,unless they smarten up!

Comment by arthur qwenk on March 14, 2023 at 11:32am

The simple solution to the  created problem, have Mainer's pay more for the "needed" transmission lines.

The fake Narrative of Global Warming is coming home  to roost, in Maine, to be paid for by, well........, Mainers!


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

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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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"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."

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