Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort contracted Nexamp to construct a 7.36-MW, 31-acre community solar farm on its property in Rangeley, Maine.
In exploring options to strengthen the economics and environmental profile of Saddleback, owner Arctaris Impact Investors identified solar development as a sensible way to improve its approach to powering the mountain. Saddleback led the development effort which included site selection, permitting and obtaining an interconnection agreement with Central Maine Power.
“Saddleback has a long history in Maine as a family destination that has provided important economic, employment and recreational opportunities in western Maine,” said Jonathan Tower, founder and managing partner of Arctaris. “We are committed to positioning Saddleback for long-term sustainability, both economic and environmental. With this project, Arctaris is significantly advancing both of those goals.”
Under Maine’s Net Energy Billing program enacted by the Mills administration in 2019, the community solar farm will generate clean energy that is sent directly to the Central Maine Power (CMP) grid, providing credits for subscribers to help reduce their annual electric expense.
Saddleback will be an anchor tenant for the commercial credits generated by the array. Other businesses in CMP territory are able to enroll.
The site for the solar farm comprises less than 1% of Saddleback’s property.
“As stewards of a remarkable piece of western Maine real estate, it was very important to us to fit this renewable energy project in harmoniously with its surrounding natural beauty,” said Tom Federle, Saddleback’s general counsel.
Construction on the solar farm is expected to begin in early 2022 and is on track to be generating clean energy for the CMP grid by the start of the 2022-2023 ski season.
“The Saddleback project is representative of the very real benefits available to businesses in proactively addressing the climate challenge,” said John Murphy, senior VP of corporate development at Nexamp. “In pursuing this initiative, the resort is helping to achieve Maine’s ambitious renewable deployment and decarbonization goals while controlling operating costs and generating meaningful revenue for additional capital improvements. We’re thrilled to partner with the Arctaris team to help make their vision a reality for the Saddleback community.”
Arctaris, an Impact Investment group that purchased Saddleback in 2020, is making substantial improvements to the mountain and helping to restore the business as a major employer and destination in the region.
News item from Nexamp