Maine Becomes 20th State to Pass Community Solar Legislation

June 26th, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pittsfield, Maine – Today, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 1711, “An Act to Promote Solar Energy projects and Distributed Generation Resources,” a bipartisan bill that will finally expand access to community solar in Maine and reform the state’s solar energy policies. Maine now becomes the 20th state plus the District of Columbia to enable a community solar program.

LD 1711 promotes the development of 250 megawatts of community solar power (for a total of 400 megawatts for all forms of distributed solar generation) and removes the limit on the number of subscribers that can participate in a community solar project. The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), alongside local solar advocates and businesses, supported the passage of LD 1711.

“For too long, Mainers have been unable to choose clean and affordable solar energy. We would like to thank Senate Republican Leader Dana Dow and Gov. Mills for their leadership in helping to unlock all of the benefits of community solar for the Pine Tree State,” said Jeff Cramer, Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Solar Access. “LD 1711 builds a foundation for the community solar industry to invest in Maine by creating new jobs and serving thousands of residents across the state who have been patiently waiting for their chance to realize the benefits of solar energy. CCSA looks forward to working with the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the local utilities to develop and implement successful community solar programs across the state.”

Last month, CCSA released an economic impact analysis of the benefits that community solar would provide to Maine based on the development of 250 MW of new community solar, including:

• An 87% increase in Maine’s solar workforce, totaling 553 sustained jobs during the construction of the solar facilities;
• $323.5 million in local economic benefits across the state, excepting local tax revenues;
• $157 million in earnings for those employed, or approximately $27/hour;
• 250 MW of community solar that would serve approximately 18,100 customers, bringing access to many who have not been early solar adopters in the state.

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Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is a national Coalition of businesses and non-profits working to expand customer choice and access to solar to all American households and businesses through community solar. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credits on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. Community solar provides homeowners, renters, and businesses equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy generation regardless of the physical attributes or ownership of their home or business. Community solar expands access to solar for all, including low-to-moderate income customers, all while building a stronger, distributed, and more resilient electric grid. For more information, visit our website at www.communitysolaraccess.org, follow us on Twitter at @solaraccess and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitysolaraccess.