Solar dominates Maine’s renewables procurement

Solar projects dominated Maine’s largest renewables procurement, Kallanish Energy reports.

Solar will provide about 482 megawatts of the 546 megawatts of projects approved for long-term energy projects earlier this week by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

The commission approved 17 projects including solar, onshore wind, hydro and biomass.

They were the first to win approval since Maine in 2019 enlarged its renewable portfolio standard to 80% by 2030.

Gov. Janet Mills hailed the state approval as a “historic step forward,” the Bangor Daily News reported.

Maine had issued its request for proposals last February.

Swift Current Energy, based in Boston, Massachusetts, will develop the largest solar project at 100 megawatts. It is the Tree Rivers project in Hancock County.

Walden Renewables was selected for five small solar projects.

Granite Apollo LLC was selected for a 65-megawatt project in Canton and a 55-megawatt project om Roxbury.

Selected bidders must enter into 20-year contracts with Maine’s transmission and distribution utilities.

The first-year prices for energy from the projects will be competitive between 2.9 and 4.2 cents per kWh, state officials said.

Maine said the projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 500,000 tons per year.

The projects will also create 450 construction jobs and 30 full-time jobs.

They are committed to spending $3 million a year over the 20-year term of the projects.

The state currently has about 90 megawatts of installed solar, putting it among the bottom states for solar production.

But Maine gets 80% of its power from renewables, mostly hydro and biomass.

Maine has adopted a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050.

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