During a planning board meeting on Monday, Wiscasset Solar 1, LLC, received approval for a new Maine community solar facility. Power Engineers, Inc. representatives Kathy Garrard and Cole Peters attended the meeting to deliver a presentation on the solar installation. The facility, which is planned for construction off Jones Road, is expected to run for upwards of 20 to 25 years. At the end of its lifecycle, the program will be decommissioned via an elarboate plan that takes the burden off the town.
According to the request for approval, the Maine community solar facility is expected to generate 7.1 million kilowatt-hours within the first year. For every year after, it will generate approximately ¼ to .5% less. At the end of its production life, the installation will produce even less power.
The community solar facility is intended to benefit the town, Syncarpha representative Mike Atkinson confirmed. Atkinson stated that Maine will reimburse the taxes on the structures’ value at half the rate. Property tax will be paid as normal to the town of Wiscasset. During the life of the community solar facility, residents will also benefit.
As with most community solar installations, the Jones Road facility will generate power that homeowners can subscribe to. With every subscription, they will enjoy the benefits of solar energy while actively reducing their energy bill. Every month, subscribers will receive a credit on their utility bill equal to the amount of solar energy they’re subscribed to. The Wiscasset Solar 1 project will also be available to small businesses.
The goal of any community solar project is to reduce a city’s carbon footprint while helping the state reach its preset net-zero carbon emissions goals. Typically, community solar is intended to provide clean, renewable energy to low- to middle-income households. It relieves the pressures of paying for and installing private panels and opens up solar options for renters.