OXFORD — The Planning Board is expected to take a final vote on the proposed 38-acre solar farm off Number 6 Road and Route 26 when they meet Thursday, May 9.

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.

Because the DEP’s approval was not available by the public hearing date on April 11, the approval was pushed off until May, said Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman.

Corey-Whitman said the Planning Board needs to review the DEP permit approval before it can go forward on its own action to approve the site plan application.

Robert Cleaves of Dirigo Solar LLC said earlier this year, that 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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