Borrego expands Maine’s solar portfolio with eight new solar initiatives
Borrego Solar announced eight new projects in communities across Maine, continuing its leadership position in the dispersed solar markets of the northeastern United States. The planned projects will consist of a total of 55 megawatt solar plants in Manchester, Orland, Randolph, Strong, Turner, Windham, Blue Hill and Millinocket.
The Borrego portfolio is the largest award from the Distributed Generation Consortium initiative of Portland-based Competitive Energy Service. CES published a call for proposals in September 2019 that organized 25 energy consumers across Maine, including LL Bean, the City of Portland, the University of Maine, Nestle Waters North America from Colby College, and Pratt & Whitney to um get clean electricity from these projects.
The eight consortium projects follow the latest Borrego contract award for four projects dedicated to the hospital system from MaineHealth, the largest health organization in Maine. The MaineHealth projects will add 27 megawatts of solar production to the company’s energy mix and provide enough power to meet half of the hospital system’s annual energy consumption. The solar systems are estimated to save MaineHealth an estimated $ 1 million in energy bills each year.
The combined portfolio of MaineHealth and Consortium with 12 solar power plants will have an installed capacity of more than 82 megawatts. These plants will produce enough electricity to offset the annual energy consumption of more than 16,000 Maine households. The projects will begin construction this year and will create 60 jobs across the state. The entire portfolio is to be completed and connected to one another in 2021.
The unprecedented extent of the development of distributed energy in Maine is largely due to the Clean Energy Act, passed by state legislature and enacted by Governor Janet Mills in June 2019, to remove barriers to solar energy development through the introduction of net energy billing and the eliminate distributed energy procurement. Maine’s leadership has set a goal of generating 80 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. To meet this standard for renewable energy, Maine aims to provide at least 375 megawatts of distributed power over the next few years.
“Gov. Mills and lawmakers should be applauded for taking these steps toward a more sustainable vision for Maine, ”said Jared Connell, Borrego’s vice president of development for the Northeast. “Such positive regulatory changes will attract further investment in the state. This will create jobs during a difficult time and advance Maine’s worthy climate goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Borrego is excited to continue to play a role in Maine’s energy future. “
“Promoting clean energy while meeting the electricity needs of our nonprofit healthcare system is consistent with our vision of working together to make our communities the healthiest in America,” said Troy Trejo, vice president, systems development, MaineHealth. “By working with Borrego to support clean energy in Maine, we’re not only improving our financial health on behalf of our patients and communities, but we’re also creating a healthier environment.”