The City of South Portland, Maine, and ReVision Energy completed a 4.7 MW solar project at a capped landfill, estimated to offset 63 percent of the city’s municipal electric load. In total, more than 80% of the City’s municipal electric load will now be offset by solar.
The three-phase project began way back in 2017 with a 1 MWdc array, which was, at that time, the largest municipal solar project in Maine. In 2022, the expansion of “Landfill East” and addition of “Landfill West” added 474 kWdc and 3.25 MWdc to the total project.
Combined, these solar projects have the largest power potential of any solar array built on a municipal landfill in the state, according to Maine DEP.
“The City of South Portland is thrilled to announce the completion of this multi-phase project,” said City Manager Scott Morelli. “Thanks to this extraordinary collaborative effort, solar energy now powers the vast majority of municipal operations—a win for both the environment and taxpayers.”
Terms of the Deal | The project was financed through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) managed by ReVision Energy. Calibrant Energy paid the upfront cost and the city will pay for the power generated from the solar panels each month at a rate lower than utility-provided power. After seven years, the city has the option to purchase the system at a reduced price and own all of the solar power generated for the remainder of the warranty period and 40-year commercial lifespan.
“Delivering sustainable solar energy with flexible financing will provide economic and environmental benefits to the area for decades to come,” said Thomas Biddinger, Director of Partnerships at Calibrant Energy. “This project is closely aligned with Calibrant Energy’s commitment to providing long-term energy solutions that are built for performance and sustainability.”
Long-term plan | Dozens of local electricians, electrical apprentices, engineers, and other solar professionals were employed in the development and construction of the solar arrays. Beginning in 2013, ReVision Energy, the City of South Portland, and the City of Portland spent four years in a collaborative planning partnership before the first solar array was built in 2017.
“Because the cost of solar technology has plummeted by 90% over the past two decades, the City of South Portland and its citizens will derive a strong economic and environmental return on this solar investment,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy. “And perhaps best of all, the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act will further reduce clean energy costs in 2023 and beyond, making solar power, heat pumps, battery storage and electric vehicles the most attractive options for homeowners, businesses, nonprofits and municipalities.”
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