Big solar bill gets near-unanimous approval in Maine Senate

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - After a near-unanimous vote in the Senate Monday, a bill aimed at amping up Maine's solar industry is one step closer to becoming law.

It would cut out a lot of the red tape around bringing solar energy to the state.

Maine is last among New England states when it comes to solar power.

Bill sponsor Senate Minority Leader Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro says this could result in a lot of investment and create jobs, while bringing in new, clean, renewable energy.

He says this bill would foremost help solar projects such as those used for school districts and town offices.

"There's a lot companies in the state -- smaller companies -- that should benefit from these projects," said Dow. "We're hoping that all of those companies can also expand right here in the state of Maine. It's always a good thing when businesses in Maine can expand and grow."

The bill faces more votes by the House and Senate before going to the governor.