Community solar applications are now being accepted for a new solar project by SunRaise Investments. While the New England developer continues working on its Kennebec County community solar farm, it is opening subscriber applications for residential and business customers. Upon completion, individuals accepted into the program will draw power from a 4.9-megawatt solar facility.
The 20-acres garden has entered into the next phase of construction and is awaiting the installation of panels. Once finished, the farm will generate clean, renewable energy that will be distributed to local businesses and residents running off Central Maine Power’s grid. To actively participate in the program, consumers must first submit community solar applications for eligibility. Those deemed eligible will be brought onto the program and will start enjoying the perks of solar power. Among them is a monthly credit applied to their utility bill.
Though it’s not generating power yet, the community solar project is providing the community with another service – employment opportunities. Construction of the installation has created approximately 150 jobs, all local to Maine. Individuals are partaking in the development of a new system that will provide the community with ample return, particularly in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s estimated that the system will produce more than 10 million-kilowatt-hours each year. That’s the equivalent of more than 1,500 passenger vehicles removed from the year for the year.
One of the main concerns that often surfaces during the development of community solar installations is the environmental impact. According to SunRaise, the company took great care to ensure it would have no significant impact on the surrounding ecosystem. The parcel chosen for the project lies near a gravel quarry and is set back from the main road. According to Maine Audubon’s Director of Advocacy & Staff Attorney Eliza Donoghue, the farm is not in range of forestry that could result in disturbances to the local wildlife.
SunRaise emphasizes that the Kennebec County solar program is economically and environmentally beneficial for the county. From jobs to tax revenue and monthly credits, many facets of the county will prosper from the site upon its completion.