By the end of the year, South China will host the largest community solar farm to date in Maine; 3 Level Farm Community Solar Farm, on Rte. 32.
Glen Wall, a resident of South China, is one of the eight members of the solar farm and serves as treasurer of the association. All members of the farm will receive credits toward their electricity bill through net metering in proportion to the shares they own. If someone owns 20 percent of the solar farm, then they would get 20 percent back in credits. “Although I own the smallest share in the farm, I still get to offset carbon and lower my electricity costs,” said Wall.
Each kilowatt of solar energy installed in Maine saves each utility ratepayer $4,000 over the lifetime of the panels, according to the Value of Solar study commissioned by Maine Public Utility Commission. Community solar farms allow greater access to solar energy. Renters, homeowners and business owners who don’t have a location or roof suitable for a solar panel array to be installed can receive the financial and environmental benefits of solar energy through a community farm membership. “When the community solar farm in South China became available, I wanted to join. In addition, if I move or sell my house someday, I will still benefit from it,” Wall said.
ReVision Energy, of Liberty, is designing and installing the project, and employs 32 people locally. ReVision Energy also has an office in Portland and two in New Hampshire with 140 employees total. Since 2003, ReVision Energy has installed over 5,000 solar arrays. The members of the 3 Level Farm Community Solar Farm and ReVision Energy will be hosting an open house for the public in early Spring.
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