The Legislature will vote on LD 1504, “An Act Regarding Solar Power for Farms and Businesses,” during the current session. The bipartisan bill removes barriers established by a February 2017 PUC ruling that effectively limits the growth of the solar industry in Maine.

Why not allow solar businesses in Maine to be competitive with the rest of New England and the country?

Few could afford electricity or an automobile when they were first invented. So, too, with the current state of solar power. Once the cost of cars and electricity was vastly reduced, both technologies became accessible in their own right, widespread and considered the norm. The cost of solar energy has steadily decreased during the past several years.

Solar energy in Maine makes sense. At a similar latitude to Maine, Germany is the world’s second leading producer of solar power. The current model is community-based solar farms providing energy to nearby customers, reducing the cost of transmission. Solar panel installations are labor intensive, with the potential to provide jobs throughout the state.

Also consider that excess solar power is fed back into the grid and is especially effective during peak demand periods (summertime air conditioning demand), when electricity is charged at its highest rate.

What has Maine got to lose in removing barriers to solar businesses in Maine? I support passage of LD 1504, and I implore legislators to support it, too.

Joan Mueller, Pownal

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