Maine Passes New Legislation - Great News For C&I Solar !

[JULY 26, 2019] -- SEBANE celebrates news out of Maine today that Governor Mills has signed into law LD 1711, An Act To Promote Solar Energy Projects and Distributed Generation Resources in Maine, as well as LD 1494, An Act To Reform Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.  Governor Mills stated that these bills “will help usher in renewable energy in Maine, create clean energy jobs, and fight climate change. Maine is once again leading on clean energy.”

 LD 1711 creates two potential pathways for community solar in Maine, prioritizing low to moderate income access. LD 1494 updates the state’s RPS by creating a predictable and competitive market to help Maine reach 80% renewables by 2030 and 100% renewables by 2050. These are two important steps forward in rebuilding Maine’s clean energy economy from its bottleneck in recent years.

“SEBANE and its 75 members are excited to see Maine under the leadership of the Mills Administration make solar’s environmental and economic benefits accessible to their residents and businesses,” said Mark Sylvia, President and Chairman for SEBANE and Chief of Staff for BlueWave Solar. “By signing the solar and RPS bills today, Governor Mills and the Maine Legislature together have shown how vision and team work can take on the serious challenge of climate change and create jobs and energy savings at the same time.”

LD 1711 is a win for community solar advocates, as it raises the subscriber cap to 200 and the net metering cap to 2 MW.  It also directs Maine’s Public Utilities Commission to pursue 375 additional MW of solar through a procurement process.

These developments follow the passage of LD 91, An Act to Eliminate Gross Metering, in Maine this April. LD 91 restored net metering in order to incentivize more solar installation across the state. Now, consumers who produce electricity from solar panels will be once again fairly compensated for supplying excess energy back to the electric grid.

 SEBANE continues to be encouraged by the swift passage of solar legislation under Governor Mills’ leadership. Maine is making a strong case for solar installers and investment, and we are excited to continue building out the solar industry across the state. When our state legislators commit to supporting solar, they are committing to reach the climate and clean energy goals of their constituents. Maine’s legislature and its executive leadership are a shining example of the growth we hope to see in more New England states when it comes to championing solar.

Joan Wilson