TurningPoint Energy recently announced it will be expanding its community solar efforts to include the state of Maine. The company’s New England team is engaging with landowners interested in leasing or selling their property for solar development, residential and commercial customers interested in participating in solar projects, and pro-solar communities seeking to bring clean energy to their residents.
In June, Maine became the 20th state to enable community solar programs when Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 1711, "An Act to Promote Solar Energy projects and Distributed Generation Resources." The comprehensive bipartisan solar bill has created a pathway for the development of over 400 MW of solar including community solar for the benefit of local homeowners, businesses, municipalities, and other organizations.
"It’s exciting to see the state of Maine open its doors to the community solar industry," said Jared Schoch, president of TurningPoint Energy. "Our team has been bringing community solar to communities throughout the country. These projects not only help bring clean, renewable energy to people who do not have access to solar power, such as those who may not have a suitable roof for panels, renters, or low-to-moderate income earners, but also help bring jobs, tax revenue, and economic growth to the state."
What is Community Solar?
Community solar offers a hassle-free way for residential and business customers to adopt solar energy with zero upfront cost and without needing to install a system on their own property. For instance, renters or businesses that can’t or don’t want to install solar at their property can still reap the benefits of solar energy when they subscribe to a community solar project and reduce their monthly utility bill.
Who Benefits from Community Solar?
According to the national Coalition for Community Solar Access, the expansion of solar into the state of Maine will bring 553 sustained jobs during the construction of the solar facilities and US$323.5 million in local economic benefits across the state through local tax revenue — all while bringing clean and affordable solar energy to 18,100 customers.
- Residents and Local Businesses: Community solar subscribers can immediately save on their electricity costs with no money down while also limiting their exposure to fluctuations in high energy costs.
- Landowners: Individual landowners who open their land up for community solar projects will benefit from thousands of dollars in annual lease payments. Landowners in Maine, who would like to discuss selling or leasing their properties for a community solar project, are encouraged to contact TurningPoint Energy. (For information on how sites are selected, visit here.)
- Local Communities: Towns that are home to a community solar project benefit from local tax revenues. TurningPoint Energy is involved in community investment and supports public schools, community initiatives, and non-profit organizations.
- The Environment: Community solar projects benefit the environment by reducing pollutants into the local atmosphere. Each megawatt of installed capacity offsets the equivalent of the following pollutants for each year of operation:
- ~2,500,000 pounds of atmospheric carbon.
- The equivalent of ~129,000 gallons of gasoline.
- The equivalent of ~18,000 light bulbs eliminated per year