The solar industry has been changing. From solar powered homes and cars, we also have solar powered boats, appliances, and water heaters. Yet many states have lagged behind.
Maine is one of them. However, that too, is beginning to change. Earlier this year, the state’s new governor, Janet Mills, signed legislation to end net metering.
The new bipartisan bill (LD 1711) would add more than 400 MW of solar by reducing barriers to entry. Positioned to change the solar industry in a few ways, the bill would prioritize solar for low- and moderate-income households, enable the development of larger-scale community solar farms that could power more than 45,000 homes and also lift an arbitrary nine-person limit that has been holding back new community solar projects across Maine.
“Maine is embracing renewable energy and solar power, which can benefit our economy and create jobs in our state,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senate Minority Leader Senator Dana Dow (R-Lincoln).
Not just does LD 1711 helps to reduce barriers – especially for businesses and other large consumers to invest in their own power – it also makes solar energy more competitive, a move that would send a signal to businesses and financial institutions to invest in solar.
After five years of negotiation, a history of high asthma rates, and growing concerns over climate change, the bill for many, is an opportunity for Maine to do its’ part to increase the use of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases. It also hopefully represents the future of solar energy in Maine.
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