Maine’s Community Solar Portfolio to Expand Amidst New Projects

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Community Solar

According to a recent announcement from Borrego Solar, the clean energy developer is bringing eight new projects to Maine. The scope of the planned projects varies, but among the 55-megawatts of solar development are options that will increase the state’s community solar portfolio. These projects are being spread across the state in cities like Orland, Turner, Millinocket, Manchester, and Blue Hill.

The Competitive Energy Services’ (CES) Distributed Generation Consortium was behind the award provided to Borrego to make these projects possible. CES requested approval for the award in September 2019 after speaking with LL Bean, Colby College, Pratt & Whitney, LL Bean, the City of Portland, and other energy users across the state.

Borrego has stated that the combined generation of all projects, especially those adding to Maine’s community solar portfolio, will be enough to offset the yearly energy use of more than 15,000 homes. That includes a series of other projects awarded to Borrego.

Recently, the development company received a contract award for four projects dedicated to MainHealth’s system of hospitals. Maine’s largest health care organization will benefit from 27-megawatts of solar production, which represents half of the hospitals’ electricity used annually. It’s estimated that the hospital system will save $1 million on its annual power bills.

Along with benefits to local business, organizations, and residents, the eight projects will create upwards of 60 jobs throughout Maine. It’s expected that the full portfolio will be completed sometime in 2021, with construction beginning in 2020. 

The increase in Maine’s solar development is due in part to the removal of legislation that blocked the construction of installations. Gov. Janet Mills was responsible for new laws introduced in 2019 that opened the ability to construct new solar projects in Maine. Once the legislation was passed, the state set a goal to draw 80% of its electricity through renewable energy by 2030. 

Though Borrego has its hands full with these new projects and a host of other commercial and community solar projects, it’s always looking for new opportunities to improve clean energy generation. It’s currently seeking partners it can team up with to bring even more solar developments to Maine and the Northeast United States.


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