The solar farm will also generate 63 percent of the city’s municipal electric load and displace 4,100 metric tons of annual carbon emissions, according to EPA statistics. In total, more than 80 percent of the City’s municipal electric load will now be offset by solar.
The three-phase project began in 2017 with a 1016 kW (DC) array, which was, at that time, the largest municipal solar project in Maine. In 2022, the expansion of ‘Landfill East’ and addition of ‘Landfill West’ added 474 kW (DC) and 3,251 kW (DC) to the total project. Currently, these combined solar projects have the largest power potential of any solar array built on a municipal landfill in the state, according to Maine DEP.
“The City of South Portland is thrilled to announce the completion of this multi-phase project” said City Manager Scott Morelli. “Thanks to this extraordinary collaborative effort, solar energy now powers the vast majority of municipal operations - a win for both the environment and taxpayers.”
The project was financed through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) managed by ReVision Energy. The City of South Portland paid nothing to install the solar panels. Instead, Calibrant Energy, a leading distributed energy company deploying innovative Energy-as-a-Service solutions, paid the upfront cost and the City will pay for the power generated from the solar panels each month at a rate lower than utility-provided power. After seven years, the City has the option to purchase the system at a reduced price and own all of the solar power generated for the remainder of the warranty period and 40-year commercial lifespan.
Dozens of local electricians, electrical apprentices, engineers, and other solar professionals were employed in the development and construction of the solar arrays. Beginning in 2013, ReVision Energy, the City of South Portland, and the City of Portland spent four years in a collaborative planning partnership before the first solar array was built in 2017.
The City, Calibrant Energy, and ReVision Energy will celebrate the new solar installation with a ceremony on October 27 at 2 pm at the City’s solar array at 929 Highland Avenue in South Portland, Maine. Honoured guests include South Portland Mayor Deqa Dhalac, Thomas Biddinger, Director of Partnerships at Calibrant Energy, and Phil Coupe, co-founder of Revision Energy, who will be speaking at the event.
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