Solar power in Maine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Solar panels

Solar power in Maine on rooftops can provide electricity used in Maine with 6,300 MW of solar panels. Maine and Vermont are tied for the second highest in the country, behind California, for rooftop solar potential.[1] A 2012 estimate suggests that a typical 5 kW system costing $25,000 before credits and utility savings will pay for itself in 14 years, and generate a profit of $24,683 over the rest of its 25-year life.[2]

Net metering is available to all consumers for up to at least 100 kW generation. Excess generation is rolled over each month but is lost once each year.[3] Maine is given a B for net metering and a B for interconnection.[4]

In October 2007, Maine's largest solar array was the 15.12 kW solar array installed at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell for $166,000,[5] which through June 11, 2012 has generated 73,416 kWh.[6] Since then average solar costs have dropped substantially, and continue to decline.

In 2011 Maine's largest solar array, 41 kW, was installed on the roof of a new, LEED Platinum grocery store in Augusta.[7][8] A 500 kW system is proposed for otherwise unusable land at the former Loring Air Force Base.[9]

A 9.9 MW solar farm is proposed for Monroe, to be built in 2016.[10]

In early 2017, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) made a decision to phase out solar credits over 15 years. Current customers and new customers up until January 1, 2018 will be grandfathered and receive the current incentives and terms as of 2017. The policy applies to residential solar customers only, not large-scale or community projects. The decision was the result of the commission the finding middle ground between solar supporters and opponents of net metering.[11][12]

Maine Gov. Paul LePage "lambasted the utility regulators" in a "rare press conference." He said he wants all three commissioners replaced immediately because of their decision. (He appointed all three of them to their seats). He also said that he wants to possibly expand the commission from three seats to five seats.[12]

As of February 2017, there were around a dozen pieces of legislation concerning solar net metering introduced in the Maine state legislature.[11]

Installed capacity[edit]

Solar insolation in Maine is roughly 33% greater than Germany, the leader in solar installations in 2012.[13]

Source: NREL[14]
Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]
Year Capacity Installed % Change
2007 0.2
2008 0.3 50%
2009 0.3 0%
2010 0.5 0.2 67%
2011 1.1 0.6 120%
2012 2.8 1.7 154%
2013 5.3 2.5 89%
2014 12.7 7.4 140%
2015 19.4 6.7 53%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Technical Potential in the United States
  2. ^ Maine
  3. ^ Maine Net Metering
  4. ^ Freeing the grid
  5. ^ Maine’s Largest Solar Array Built at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell
  6. ^ Solar Savings
  7. ^ Hannaford set to open greenest grocery store
  8. ^ LEED Platinum Hannaford in Augusta, Maine
  9. ^ Loring officials envision solar farm on otherwise unusable brownfield
  10. ^ Maine’s largest solar farm expected to go online in 2016
  11. ^ a b "Maine PUC approves revisions to net energy billing that impact rooftop solar". Daily Energy Insider. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  12. ^ a b "Maine Gov. LePage calls for utility regulators to resign over solar net metering decision". Utility Dive. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  13. ^ Maine Solar Energy FAQ’s
  14. ^ "PV Watts". NREL. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  16. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  17. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2010). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2009" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  18. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  19. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2008). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2007" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  20. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  21. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 
  22. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2014). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2013" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  23. ^ Maine Solar

External links[edit]