People in power nationwide are fighting against solar power. Gov. Paul LePage stated that installing heat pumps would be more cost effective than solar. But solar power is becoming cheaper, more efficient and cleaner than other power sources.

Aside from Hawaii or Alaska, the Northeast has the highest electrical costs in the country. Electricity costs elsewhere are 25 to 50 percent less.

Some folks want to be off the grid but need other means of energy to do that. Others want to stay on the grid in case they need power on days they can’t produce it, but want electric companies to buy back the power they generate. The electric companies want to charge those people an extra fee for putting power back into the grid.

Why doesn’t the power company, not the manufacturer, lease out the equipment and panels to people who want solar? They can be generators for the power companies, producing clean energy. They could charge a smaller monthly fee for the equipment, less than the normal bill. The leases could run for a set period, say 50 to 75 percent of the 25-year life expectancy of the panels. The panels could then be owned outright by the homeowner.

Farms that no longer have livestock or grow produce could have solar arrays on their land, producing vast quantities of clean energy. It’s documented that in Germany on two sunny days in 2012 that the combined output from panels on the country’s solar power plants was greater than that of the combined output of 20 nuclear power plants.

James Pare, Auburn


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