Ellsworth holds ribbon cutting for solar projects

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - Ellsworth held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday at the site of two solar projects that will help lower the cost of energy for the city.

Located on Mariaville Road, the completed solar projects are now ready to transmit power to the energy grid.

The Ellsworth City Council voted in the fall of 2020 to approve entering into a 20-year Bill Credit Agreement under the Maine Commercial and Institutional Customer Net Energy Billing – Tariff Rate Credit Program, allowing Ellsworth to purchase bill credits associated with the generation of solar power.

Working with SunRaise investments, the projects have come to fruition, and the city is looking toward the future.

“The site here is about eight and a half acres, the site up the road is about 8.2 acres. So, just shy of seventeen acres in total. Here, we’re looking at a total of 4.7 megawatts.” said Pat Jackson, Rewild Renewable (formerly SunRaise Investments) co-founder.

“The savings that the city is going to see when we’re, you know, getting the credits towards our electrical bills for all of the buildings that we run, I think is definitely something that we can be very proud of here in Ellsworth, and it’s safe to say that we’re one of the few communities that have seized this opportunity as quickly as we have,” said Glenn Mosier, Ellsworth city manager.

This project encompasses nearly 12,000 solar panels between the two sites, and the city estimates it will save $3.9 million in electrical costs over the next 20 years.

“That is these projects are critical for reducing the reliance on fossil fuels. We’re increasing our reliance on local energy, and therefore, reducing our prices here,” said Jackson.

The city says the goal is to use the energy savings to offset other city projects and use taxpayer dollars in other areas that benefit Ellsworth businesses and residents.

“We’re excited at the opportunity to move Ellsworth forward to more renewable energy and just really working towards a future for the city of Ellsworth and the state of Maine, which is responsible for protecting our environment, and providing service like this to our citizens,” said Mosier.

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