SunRaise Investments, a New England solar developer, has reached an important milestone on its community solar project, which is now accepting applications for subscribers to participate in the solar garden. The 4.9-MW, 20-acre solar project has completed early construction and is currently awaiting solar panels to be installed.
The system will provide low-cost solar energy to residents and businesses in the Central Maine Power territory who can enjoy guaranteed cost savings on their monthly electricity bill. Community solar offers anyone who pays an electricity bill the opportunity to participate in clean energy while creating local jobs and investment and supporting public health by reducing harmful air pollution.
“This is terrific news for Maine to see SunRaise move its project forward — Maine ratepayers have been clamoring for the ability to participate in cost effective, clean energy projects and this is an exciting time for people and communities across Maine. SunRaise has deep experience in these markets and we are glad to see them bring their knowledge to help benefit Mainers,” said Jeremy Payne, executive director for the Maine Renewable Energy Association.
“We’re thrilled to reach this significant milestone for our Kennebec County community solar garden. Mainers are excited about solar and want to participate in clean energy. Subscribing to a local solar garden allows them the opportunity without any upfront costs or long-term commitments. COVID has hit our economy hard in Maine and financial savings are more important now than ever. Solar can be an important part of our economic recovery, while advancing our clean energy future,” said Patrick Jackson, VP of business development at SunRaise Investments.
During the planning process, SunRaise took into careful consideration siting concerns to ensure there were no significant environmental impacts as a result of development. The project is strategically sited on a parcel of land adjacent to a gravel quarry and set back away from the main access road.
“From a wildlife perspective, this is a thoughtfully sited project — it’s located proximate to existing development and avoids sensitive and otherwise noteworthy habitats, as well as large forested areas that are essential for wildlife to move throughout their lifecycle and as they adapt to a changing climate,” said Eliza Donoghue, Maine Audubon’s director of advocacy & staff attorney.
The Kennebec County project demonstrates the important societal, environmental, and economic benefits that community solar offers Maine, such as cost-savings, job creation, local tax revenue, land preservation, and improved air quality for local communities across the state. As the program evolves in the coming months, it will be critical that any changes made reflect these benefits to ensure a robust and equitable future for solar energy in Maine.
News item from SunRaise Investments