This bill, currently being worked in the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, is the result of a 6-month stakeholder process incorporating a diverse group of stakeholders including solar installers, environmental groups, the state’s two major utilities and the Public Advocate, tasked by the Legislature last year to develop an alternate solar policy to the PUC’s current intent to completely eliminate net metering. Bipartisan lawmakers, Maine’s utilities, Maine solar companies, the Maine Municipal Association, the Public Advocate, diverse businesses, environmental groups, community leaders, and GrowSmart Maine all support this bill.
Contact Your Legislators Now!
The original draft of this bill would ensure a big increase in solar power and solar jobs in Maine. It would create more than 800 new solar jobs, tripling Maine’s solar workforce with good-paying jobs across the state, according to U.S. Dept. of Energy estimates. With Maine still struggling to replace declining industries with new job opportunities, especially for younger workers, moving forward with good clean energy jobs is essential.
LD 1649 would provide a huge boost for community solar farms, eliminating the current arbitrary 9-person cap on community solar and providing framework for significant growth of community solar farms.leaving net-metering in the hands of the PUC would mean, at best, keeping Maine’s harsh limits on community solar.
The Solar Bill will also preserve net metering for existing customers and keep it as a fallback should there be problems with the new payment policy
The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) supports LD 1649 because it will reduce electricity rates for all Mainers. The OPA estimates total ratepayer savings will be $55 million by the most conservative estimate. A more complete but still conservative estimate shows net savings of $122 million.
The Maine Farmland Trust provided an amendment to this bill that will encourage installation of new solar farms to brownfields, landfills and other areas that isn’t suited for agricultural or other uses – keeping our most productive farmland available for farming.
Please contact your Legislators now and let them know you support solar energy in Maine – ask them to support LD 1649, “The Solar Bill”.
Here is the link where you can find contact information for all elected officials: