Just one month after receiving approval on new community solar applications, SunRaise Investments announced its plans to turn a gravel mine into a new solar facility. The New England developer revealed recently that its newest community solar plant would be built in Baldwin, ME on the remains of an abandoned gravel mine. State officials have dubbed the land as degraded, which limited the options of what can be built on it.
With its announcement, SunRaise stated that it sought the land for a 20-acre, 4.8-megawatt solar garden. Approval for the project and SunRaise’s interest was due in part to the legislation approved in late 2019. Gov. Janet Mills’ took part in a push for more solar options in Maine, resulting in reduced restrictions that allowed developers like SunRaise to move in with new ideas and projects.
Sen. Bill Diamond commented on the new community solar plant, stating his excitement for the new project and what it will mean for residents of East and West Baldwin. Re. Steve Moriarty added to the enthusiasm for SunRaise’s efforts, showing appreciation for the developer’s use of the degraded property to bring clean energy to locals. Senior VP of business development at SunRaise, Patrick Jackson, the project is expected to generate more than 130 jobs and provide the county with tax perks.
The new community solar facility is already accepting applications from residents and small businesses. Eligible participants must be a Central Maine Power utility customer. All subscribers are able to subscribe with no cost or commitments holding them into a lengthy contract. Upon approval of their application, homeowners and businesses will immediately start to see the benefits of solar energy. Among them, a credit applied to their monthly utility bill. There are also no fees for terminating the subscription at any point during the agreement.
According to SunRaise’s building schedule, the new facility is currently ahead of schedule. It’s expected to become operational in Q1 2021.