Solar energy will lower energy costs for Mainers, and by removing the arbitrary cap on community solar participants, we can make it accessible to more people. In Auburn, many of us live in buildings where we can’t put solar on the roof — we rent or we can’t afford the upfront costs of installing solar panels. But there is a bill (LD 1711) in front of my legislator, Rep. Bruce Bickford, which would increase the availability of community solar.

Community solar addresses those barriers. A group of people can subscribe to a community solar project and even if it is remote from their home receive credits on their bill. Community solar also means that people can invest in solar with no upfront costs and pay an electricity bill equal to or less than the current bill while the initial investment is paid off.

Right now, Maine has an arbitrary and outdated cap on the number of people who can participate in a community solar project. Legislators can fix that by passing LD 1711, which would lift the nine-participant cap and allow 200 participants. Other states have done so, and it has allowed them to move forward on solar energy.

I would urge Rep. Bickford and other legislators to vote in favor of LD 1711.

Tim Clough, Auburn

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