The towns of Oxford and Paris, ME will be sharing a 30-acre community solar farm upon its completion in 2021. A sizable parcel of land near Fore Street in Oxford and stretching into Paris will be the future site of a new project developed by ISM Solar Development of East Providence, RI.
ISM is sinking $8 million into the new project, which is just one of 10 solar programs it’s bringing to Maine. Approval for the new community solar farm came after the Planning Boards of Oxford and Paris met last week to review proposals. After that meeting, Oxford’s planning board convened separately to approve the plan.
According to CEO of ISM Solar, Greg Lucini, the 30-acre parcel of land has been on the market for some time. Complexities had otherwise hindered plans to develop on the property. However, the planning board pushed through the proposal to allow for the solar project to begin construction.
Though the Oxford Planning Board approved ISM’s project, the town controls only ten of the 30 acres. Twenty of those acres were part of the plan proposed by ISM to bypass any obstacles. The remainder of the project will cross over into Paris, ME, which will be joining Oxford on the new community solar farm project.
The approved proposal submitted by ISM includes a farm that utilizes 10,500 bifacial panels. Their design will allow them to absorb sunlight from both sides. The farm is expected to generate 4.2 megawatts of electricity, which will be divided between the two towns. According to ISM’s plans, the panels will be able to follow the sun from east to west to maximize absorption. This feature will come in handy, especially during snowstorms as it will force the panels to move vertically and prevent snow from piling on them.
The community solar farm is expected to benefit CMP customers, who will be able to sign up and receive a credit on their monthly utility bill.
Construction of the new site is expected to begin in 2021 and will run for six months.