The projects, located in Somerset, Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Knox Counties, were in late stages of development, and construction began in Q2 2021. Once completed, the community solar projects will provide a clean energy option to 5,750 households in Maine within the Central Maine Power (“CMP”) electric utility territory.
These projects are developed by TurningPoint Energy as part of Maine’s Net Energy Billing program, which was amended in June 2019 by Governor Mills to provide renewable energy benefits, energy efficiency, and reduced costs for its residential customers. Nautilus is the long-term owner of the projects and responsible for overseeing construction, maintaining its long-term performance, and acquiring and managing customer subscriptions. Any residential Central Maine Power utility customer is eligible to join one of the projects through Nautilus with no upfront cost, no long-term commitment and no cancellation fees.
When fully operational the projects are expected to generate approximately 25 million kWhs annually, contributing to Maine’s goals of providing economic growth, workforce opportunities, and 80 percent clean energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
This is the second transaction between Nautilus Solar and TurningPoint Energy demonstrating the strong partnership between the two organizations.
“These projects symbolize Nautilus’s commitment to making clean energy simple and accessible to all Mainers,” said Nautilus Solar co-CEO Jim Rice. “It is exciting to be a part of this first step for community solar in Maine and rewarding to partner with an experienced developer like TurningPoint Energy,” added Eric Paul, Executive Director of Channel Partnerships for Nautilus.
TPE expanded its business operations to Maine in an announcement last year.
“This is TurningPoint Energy’s first demonstration of coming through on our commitment to invest in Maine’s community solar market we made in 2019 and we’re thankful to continue to work in strategic partnership with Nautilus Solar to make good on this commitment,” said Jared Schoch, President of TurningPoint Energy. “We commend Maine’s leaders for creating such a timely economic development opportunity in its clean energy economy in a COVID-2021 year that definitely needs it.”
Community solar is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Maine clean energy industry. Community solar provides all the benefits of locally produced, affordable clean energy without any rooftop panels to install or upfront fees. Anyone who pays an electric bill can subscribe to a solar project in their area, helping to build stronger communities, fight climate change, and save on their electricity bill.