RANGELEY – A ribbon cutting ceremony in Skowhegan took place on Thursday to mark the end of construction for Maine’s first multi-town solar power project.
Rangeley is one of four towns and a school, to participate in the project which will reportedly offset collective electric bills by 85 percent. ReVision Energy- an employee-owned solar energy company that operates in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire- is heading the 4 megawatt project. The 10,500 solar panels will generate 4.9 million kilowatt hours of energy each year, according to ReEnergy co-founder Phil Coupe.
Town Manager Joe Roach said the town essentially buys into the project, and in return receives credits back that will significantly reduce municipal electric bills. The array has an estimated lifespan of 40 years, with 25 of those years being under warranty. Each year the array will offset 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from regional fossil fuel power plants, Coupe said.
“This is really important, especially for Mainers, since we have the highest per capita carbon emissions in New England,” he said.
This is the second recent solar project that Rangeley will take part in; Saddleback Mountain is proposing to install a 35-acre array that, if approved, will generate enough electricity for the entire business.