Solar Provider Group has developed a comprehensive portfolio of solar energy projects in Maine totaling 30 MW. The journey to 100% renewable energy for the state of Maine has been an excited but also challenging time. With the world turned upside down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have all learned to navigate our lives in a new world. To fully understand the development of solar energy in Maine, we must go back to 2019. With the ouster of former governor Paul LePage (R),and his Democratic replacement Governor Janet Mills, the state is on the verge of a renewable revolution. There is much to fix. LePage had put many legislative roadblocks in place for renewable energy development during his 8 year tenure. Specifically for solar energy the rollback of net metering and its replacement with “Gross Metering” which punished installations in by requiring all i to have a second meter installed to measure outflow, yet still charging for power delivery even if that power was used behind the meter. While this program did exempt larger and medium sized installations, it was seen as more of a political attempt to kill solar than an evidence based policy approach. This in addition to the complete moratorium on offshore wind energy has made the state a rather unappealing place to develop renewable energy projects
Governor Mills and the new government wasted no time in 2019 rolling back these anti-business policies and introducing a myriad of bills to try to address Maine’s renewables lag. Gross metering is out, replaced by the previous version of net metering, which although it has been described as “vanilla” is still an excellent start. The RPS standard has been dramatically expanded to80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. The Law to update the RPS (An Act To Reform Maine's Renewable Portfolio Standard) also required the Public Utilities Commission to issue a competitive solicitation for RECs or power from new renewable resources that will be administered by Enel X. The total amount is 125 MW for Commercial and Institutional and 250 MW for shared distributed generation.
Solar Provider Group has developed a 50MW portfolio of solar projects. These projects will help the state reach their goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Maine’s ambitious renewable energy goals are an exciting development for the state and we are excited to see the projects come online in the next few years.