by Nakell Williams
WABI-TV news story
Solar for Maine now was the message from a group at the State House encouraging lawmakers to put their efforts behind solar energy policy. “Why pay for power for your life when you can own it in ten years and have free power after that,” said SunDog Solar President, Chuck Piper.
Environmentalists say Maine is behind other states in providing opportunities for investing in and using solar energy. “This explains why Maine is falling behind. LD 1263 will cut in half the payback period for people to invest in solar by providing them with solar credits, then pay for more than what that solar is worth,” said Natural Resources Council of Maine Clean Energy Director, Dylan Voorhees.
Supporters say removing limitations in current laws would be a good place to start. “We want to remove these barriers so that more people can install solar in their own homes or share in solar generation. When somebody has solar generation on their home or business, if they produce more energy than they actually consume, they can send that back across the power lines to the grid,” said Representative Sara Gideon.
The proposed bill would not only increase the number of people who can share solar projects, but create up to 200 megawatts of new solar by 2022. “Up to 10 people can co-own generation, like that it’s called, distributed generation. What we are trying to do with this is to increase the number of people who can co own,” Gideon added.
Supporters say solar power can help Maine gain more energy independence. “Solar in Maine can expand a great deal. We can get may be 10,000 new residential installations and 3,000 commercial installations. More importantly, we’ll be able to hire more young people that are looking for jobs,” said Chuck Piper.