HARRISON — More than 18 months after the Planning Board approved applications for constructing two solar farms, little to no progress has been made on either project.

One site is on property near the Central Maine Power substation on Norway Road. The second site is at 40 Bolsters Mills Road.

One reason for delays is the high number of solar arrays approved across the state and the pressure that has placed on CMP to integrate the new power producers into its electricity grid system.

According to Chris Byers, senior program manager with BRI Environmental, the developer overseeing the Norway Road project, after Harrison planners greenlighted the solar farms, permits still had to be granted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, which can take time.

For BRI Environmental, it gave the firm time to amend its application, enlarging the solar footprint from 14.5 acres by an additional five.

“Due to demand from subscribers, the size of the project has increased by 5.1 acres to accommodate more solar panels,” Byers said via email. The expansion required a second review by Harrison planners and confirmation from Maine DEP that BRI Environmental is authorized to clear enough trees to minimize shading of the solar panels.

Byers wrote that delays have occurred mainly due to CMP and making sure that all the approvals, paperwork and engineering tasks associated with the project connecting to the grid are in place.

“That just takes time, especially when CMP and Versant (the power company serving eastern Maine) are facing an unprecedented amount of solar interconnection applications all at once,” he said.

There are close to 600 active projects being reviewed.

“The Moose Solar Project, which is made up of 5,616 solar panels, will service residential customers that currently have a CMP account,” he said.

“There has been a tremendous amount of interest in saving money with solar power, and once this project is operational we expect it to generate enough power to support close to 400 customers. We’re certainly hoping local residents sign up with this project, but realistically anybody with a CMP bill can benefit from this project even if it’s not in their backyard,” he said.

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