South Portland targets landfill for solar project

The City of South Portland has visions of taking otherwise unusable landfill space and converting it into a productive solar farm.  From the Portland Press Herald:

SOUTH PORTLAND — Undaunted by drizzling rain, Tex Haeuser climbs the man-made hill at a good clip, eager to show off the city’s former landfill.

Stretching to the east, behind the solid waste transfer station on Highland Avenue, the rolling, 34-acre field is dotted with white plastic pipes venting methane gas produced by the buried garbage. Nothing can be built on the capped landfill that might damage it. Haeuser, the city’s longtime planning director, sees nothing but potential.

LePage Announces Solar Panels to be installed on Blaine House

Solar on the Maine Blaine House
What the Blaine House would look like with 74 solar panels on it!

AUGUSTA, MAINE –In a bold policy turnaround, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) today announced the forthcoming installation of a 21 kilowatt solar electric array on the roof of the historic Blaine House, home of Maine Governors.  The system is sized to meet roughly half of the electric use of the recently installed air source heat pump units.

“I just locked in a rate of $0.89/gallon oil equivalent on these heat pumps,” said LePage, long an opponent of renewable energy. “I was shocked when I saw how much solar panels had dropped in price and how much money it would save Maine taxpayers if we switched over to solar power.  On top of that, Maine’s solar industry supports over 250 local jobs and increases Maine’s energy independence.  It’s a no brainer.”

LePage also acknowledged that he was just made aware that no natural gas exists within the state of Maine, yet enough sunshine falls on the state that converting just 1.5% of its land mass to solar arrays would meet all current electric demands, forever.

“Screw the pipeline,” he said, “Let’s go solar.”

NOTE: This is an April Fool’s satire, sadly.  We do wish the Governor of Maine would be more supportive of solar and urge him to look at the ‘big picture’ of distributed generation and not blindly follow the natural gas ideologues.  In fact, he should read the “Value of Solar” study recently produced by Maine’s PUC which finds that solar’s value is roughly double that of conventional power.

King, Maine Audubon Unveil New, Collaborative Solar Energy Project

Maine Audubon SolarGo Sen King and Go Maine Audubon!  An innovative and remarkable new solar project has been launched:

FALMOUTH, ME – This morning, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Climate Action Task Force, joined with officials from the Maine Audubon Society at its headquarters in Falmouth to help unveil a new solar panel system that will help reduce energy costs, curb reliance on oil, and limit carbon emissions. The project is the largest array of solar panels installed by a conservation organization in the state.

“Investing in renewable energy sources, like these solar arrays, is investing in our future,” Senator King said. “This forward-looking, collaborative project is the kind of innovative thinking that will lead the way in reducing our dependence on oil, lowering energy bills, and combating climate change, and should be a model for other projects across Maine and across the country.”

More at: http://www.king.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/king-maine-audubon-unveil-new-collaborative-solar-energy-project

The value of power: Solar goes sky-high in Maine

Solar installer photo courtesy PPH, Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
Solar installer photo courtesy PPH, Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The Portland Press Herald reports today about the PUC’s recent “Value of Solar” study, which finds that the value of a kilowatt-hour of solar is more valuable than that of a kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by traditional grid electricity.

Tux Turkel writes:

If solar energy gained widespread use in Maine it would have a greater total value than conventional power generation, according to a state-sponsored study that analyzes the costs and benefits of generating power from the sun.

Among the report’s conclusions is that the long-term value of electricity produced from solar panels is roughly 33 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s more than twice the 15 cents or so that most Mainers pay for power that is conventionally generated and delivered on the grid.

More info: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/03/12/the-value-of-power-solar-goes-sky-high/