February 3, 2023

Maine solar array to be largest project in New England

Maine land planners have given a green light to a 700-acre solar array that’s being called the largest project of its kind in New England.

The state’s Land Use Planning Commission last week voted unanimously that the Three Corners Solar Project “conforms with the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements and plans.”

Massachusetts-based Longroad Energy has proposed a 110-megawatt grid-scale solar energy project that would transmit power along a 5.2-mile corridor to Central Maine Power’s Albion Road substation.

The project, which would be located in the towns of Benton, Clinton and Unity Township, will produce enough electricity to power at least 30,000 homes, according to the company.

Longroad Energy has several other grid-scale solar energy projects in operation and on their development in Maine, but the Three Corners Solar Project would be one of the largest of its kind in the New England region.

Maine has set aggressive goals to get more power from the sun and wind in coming years as it seeks to diversify its energy portfolio and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2020, about 80% of Maine’s electricity net generation came from renewable energy resources, with hydroelectric power providing the largest share at 34%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Earlier this year, the state’s largest utility, Central Maine Power, reached an agreement with solar power companies over the expansion of the industry in the state.

The settlement includes a commitment from the utility company to spend $700,000 over the next two years to add more clean energy in the regional electric grid.

Earlier this month, Maine was awarded $10.5 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program, which will be used to help develop two large-scale solar projects.

Combined, the projects are expected to produce more than 7 million kilowatt hours of electricity in their first full year of operation, according to the agency.

This article was originally posted on Maine solar array to be largest project in New England

Sydney Boles