Officials for the City of Belfast recently entertained a proposal to convert a closed city dump into a new community solar facility with an array similar to the one atop the Belfast Firehouse.
According to Assistant City Planner Sadie Lloyd, the array would be installed and maintained by ReVision Energy, a solar company based in Waldo County, with the panels owned and managed by Ohio-based IGS Generation. Belfast would lease the panels and, because Maine does not currently have a comprehensive solar energy plan or clean energy incentive program, pay an energy premium for the first few years of operation.
Even without state leadership, the Belfast city council may soon vote on the plan so the city can take advantage of the benefits this array would create for the city, including reduced environmental impact, the steady supply of clean energy despite forecasted fluctuations in electricity rates, and the lack of any up-front construction costs.
According to an interview with Assistant Planner Lloyd, ReVision Energy will be working closely with all permitting agencies, including the EPA, to ensure the system is constructed in a way that fits the site. This includes a construction design that avoids any penetration of the landfill cap. This means an otherwise unusable site will be safely put to good use to produce clean energy for the city, saving residents money while protecting Maine’s environment. Here comes the sun!
Our sustainability radar is always on, and we love to share. Do you have information about a great project helping to make Maine a more sustainable place to call home that you would like to see featured on NRCM’s blog? Guest posts and alerts about interesting sustainability stories are always welcome! If it is good news for our environment and involves Maine or Mainers, it belongs in the spotlight. Please contact Sarah Nichols, NRCM Sustainable Maine Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 430-0170.
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