GREENWOOD — Mt. Abram Ski Area is beginning work on an 803-panel photovoltaic solar project to offset much of the resort’s annual electricity consumption, Marketing Director Jamie Schectman said Wednesday in a news release.

The project, which has been in the works for four years, is expected to produce over 280,000 kilowatt hours annually and will “offset approximately 70 percent of the ski area’s annual electricity consumption,” Schectman said.

Part of the project will be paid with up to $235,000 from a 25 percent matching grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program. Payback is expected to take “around four-and-a-half years,” Schectman said.

He said the total cost of the project “will be no more than $940,000.”

Mt. Abram co-owner Matt Hancock said the solar project “continues the advancement of our clean energy game plan — utilizing abundant, local and readily available resources wherever and whenever possible. We are making every effort to accomodate colder, snowier winters.”

“We are extremely excited to continue to support Mt. Abram as Maine’s sustainable mountain playground,” Dave Scanlan, general manager of Mt. Abram, said.

“Stabilizing this significant cost allows more attention to enhancing the skiing and riding experience,” Scanlan said. “Outdoor winter enthusiasts care about our snow surface, but they have become increasingly discerning about the practices we apply to create the surface.”

Schectman said there will be an official commissioning ceremony for the new solar project, followed by a tour of Mt. Abram’s other environmental initiatives, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6. The tour will be open to the public.

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