An array of ground-mounted solar panels like these are set to be installed at the Bar Harbor Public Works site, financed by local individual and business investors to create a community solar farm. PHOTO COURTESY OF REVISION ENERGY

Solar farm seeking investors

BAR HARBOR — Following recent approval by town meeting, Maine’s next community solar farm is set to be built at the town’s public works site. ReVision Energy now seeks member/owners for what will be MDI’s first community solar farm and the first in utility Emera Maine’s territory. A presentation is set for Thursday, Sept. 17, in the council chambers at 7 p.m. A reception with light refreshments begins at 6:30 p.m.

The solar energy system, designed by ReVision, could hold up to 165 solar panels that will produce roughly 60,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually and offset 27 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The solar farm memberships will be available to Bar Harbor residents and businesses. There are two other solar farms in Maine, but this will be the first municipally-sponsored project in the state.

“The growth of solar in Maine, and specifically the recent interest in community solar projects, has really taken off,” says John Luft, branch manager at ReVision Energy’s Liberty location. “Off-site solar means that downtown businesses, historic inns, and homes without great roofs can finally make solar a reality, all while building community and localizing energy.”

Once the group of up to nine shareholders is confirmed, they will invest capital to construct the solar array, and 100 percent of the electricity generated is sent to the grid. Kilowatt hour credits are then sent to the electricity accounts of each member of the group based on their ownership percentage stake in the farm.

Information on tax credits and low-cost financing options will be presented, part of an effort to make participation accessible to most residents and businesses. “This is a great opportunity for local residents to save money and protect the quality of our island’s environment. Buying into this solar farm makes it easy to benefit from a clean source of energy and cut your electric bills forever,” Town Councilor Gary Friedmann said.

For more information about the workshop or about participating in the solar farm project, contact Jennifer Albee at ReVision Energy, 589-4171 or [email protected].

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