AUGUSTA (WGME) — Maine is in last place when it comes to jobs in the solar power industry, but some lawmakers have come up with a plan to improve those numbers.
Thursday at the state house, members of the energy and utilities committee presented a plan designed to move Maine forward on solar.
“We’ve developed a policy to develop 250 megawatts of solar in Maine over the next five years,” Maine Public Advocate Tim Schneider said. “And we’re doing that for all different types of customers, for commercial – industrial customers, for residential and small businesses, and for community solar installations and grid scale installations so everybody can own a share.”
Schneider says the plan will benefit all rate payers by reducing costs.
The plan eliminates solar “net metering” on new solar installations.
Net metering allows customers to sell back their excess power.
The bill does allow for existing solar customers to continue the practice on a limited basis.
Meanwhile, Chris Rauscher, Director of Public Policy for Sunrun and Spokesperson from the Alliance for Solar Choice disagrees.
“Alternative policies, without the certainty of net metering as a side-by-side, give utility monopolies even more power,” Rauscher said. “We should maintain the proven policy of net metering to protect hundreds of hard-working local solar employees and Maine consumers.”