OXFORD — The Planning Board is set to hold a public hearing next week to review and act on a plan to construct a solar array on a field off Route 26.

The Planning Board will meet on Thursday, April 11, beginning at 6 p.m. to hold the required public hearing for final approval of the proposed solar array on about 40 acres off Route 26 and Number 6 Road near the Oxford County Regional Airport.

Dirigo Solar LLC is proposing the $8 to $9 million solar array project but the go-ahead hinges on approval of local, state and federal permits, an agreement with Central Maine Power to connect the solar array to the grid and the approval of a 15-year Credit Enhancement Agreement with the town of Oxford.

The Planning Board voted unanimously at its March 7 meeting to declare the survey and site plan preliminary application complete, pending approval by the Department of Environmental Protection, which was expected by the end of March.

Robert Cleaves of Dirigo Solar LLC said the project will benefit Oxford financially through temporary and permanent jobs and providing additional tax base.

The Oxford project will distribute power locally to consumers in Oxford, Norway and the area through a contract with Central Maine Power, but that does not mean those local ratepayers will see any special discount on their bills. Dirigo officials have said the power from this project will not leave the state and the additional source of energy should financial benefit all Central Maine Power ratepayers by lowering the overall cost of energy.

Dirigo officials said if the company gets all the necessary permits and contracts, construction should begin in late summer or early fall.

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