In New England, Maine has not ranked very highly for the last five years in terms of #solar jobs per capita and solar generation. As a matter of fact, the state has ranked last. But this is about to change, because a new bipartisan bill is striving to fast-track the creation of more than 400 megawatts of solar power for towns, businesses, and residents across Maine.
According to the bill’s sponsor, #Dana Dow (R-Lincoln), Senate Minority Leader Senator, the economy will benefit as a result of Maine embracing solar power. Dow discussed how the power will be placed where it needs to be thanks to distributed generation, and this will lessen costs on the electric grid. Bringing solar benefits to those in Maine is important, especially where there are families with limited incomes.
#LD 1711: Rebooting Solar Policies
LD 1711 would bring an all-inclusive reboot to the solar policies in Maine, while serving to get rid of barriers that are preventing people in Maine from accessing solar #energy that they can afford. There have been other bills in the past but none of them became the law, although they were supported by the Legislature.
#Clean Energy Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, #Dylan Voorhees, commented on how the time is now for people to try to increase solar power access irrespective of someone’s income or location. Doing this is going to yield positive results, for example, curbing carbon pollution, lowering energy costs and bringing good jobs to people throughout the state.
How will access to clean energy be expanded for more consumers? The solar bill is able to accomplish this using different approaches. Some households (low and moderate income) would be able to utilize community solar farms. This would enable them to take advantage of solar energy even if they can’t have rooftop panels on their own homes. Speaking of solar farms, their development would be enabled by the bill. The expectation is more than 45,000 homes would benefit.
Harnessing Solar Through Maine
Solar is being harnessed through Maine in an effort to lessen energy costs for taxpayers and help to get away from energy sources that are carbon-polluting. As per the Solar Energy Industries Association, costs for solar have decreased over the last five years by 47 percent. Making the switch to solar has saved towns thousands of dollars.
Electricity costs for all could be lowered by expanding distributed solar generation. It could change the regional electric grid by bringing in more renewable energy generation.
Julie Rosenbach, Sustainability Director for the City of South Portland, commented on how many municipalities throughout the state want to adopt solar energy. As per Rosenbach, the solar bill is supported because it will offer a strong path for projects and perks such as clean air, a decrease in energy costs, and greenhouse gas reductions.
Revolutionizing Maine’s electricity strategies can help to bring the advantages of distributed solar technology to light, and LD 1711 allows for a reduction in barriers, specifically for consumers and businesses to invest in their own power.
A premium on predictability and competitive markets is another result, and would hopefully push for an investment in solar while creating jobs throughout Maine.
Maine, unfortunately, sees high rates of asthma and Lyme disease. Hopefully, these illnesses would be reduced with an increase in clean energy and fewer greenhouse gases, as per Physicians for Social Responsibility, Maine Chapter’s Executive Director, Karen D’Andrea.
It’s taken five years of collaboration among renewable energy businesses, municipalities, conservation groups, local businesses and more to get to this solar bill.
Carissa Maurin, Environment Maine State Director, believes Maine has enormous potential to capture renewable energy. Barriers to solar energy will only hold back progress, which does not make sense.
Thanks to the new solar bill, businesses, individuals, and communities in Maine will have the opportunity to go solar. It is important to protect the environment, consumers and public health. Maine could certainly have a thriving future in solar energy, and this is just one way to get there.
Continue to read up on solar news, because there are many opportunities coming to light!