New England solar developer SunRaise Investments announced its latest community solar garden which is currently being developed in Baldwin, Maine, is ahead of schedule and will begin operation in early 2021. The 4.8-MW solar array is being developed on an abandoned gravel mine — land that has been considered degraded by officials with limited options for use. SunRaise Investments leveraged the degraded land designation to build a 20-acre community solar garden.
“It’s a sunny day in East and West Baldwin with the announcement of this project. Maine has immense natural resources. Harnessing some of that sunshine we’re all so lucky to enjoy will certainly benefit the community in the short and long-term,” said Senator Bill Diamond (D-Cumberland). “I’m pleased and excited for the wonderful citizens of this true Maine town.”
The new project is thanks in large part to the approval of community solar legislation in Maine late last year, signed by the Governor Mills’ administration. Community solar allows solar developers to offer solar energy credits from solar gardens to any Mainer who pays an electricity bill.
“I admire the approach SunRaise has taken by re-using abandoned property to produce clean and renewable energy,” said Representative Steve Moriarty (D-Cumberland). “Cumberland made a similar decision and in January of this year dedicated a 474.8-kilowatt solar array built over the site of the town’s closed landfill.”
“The Baldwin solar development is a great addition for Cumberland county. Aside from providing the local community with emission-free clean energy, we were able to repurpose degraded land to provide Mainers with discounted electricity and local employment,” said Patrick Jackson, Senior Vice President of Business Development for SunRaise Investments. “During construction, the project will support 138 local jobs and provide significant tax benefits to the county during the life of the system.”
The solar garden is currently accepting both residential and commercial applications for any Central Maine Power utility customer. Subscribers can participate with no upfront costs or commitments and begin realizing cost-savings almost immediately.