PARIS — The Select Board on Monday approved a one-year lease option for the 37.1-acre capped landfill on Kilgore Road .

The option does not lock the board into pursuing any particular project. It will only allow the Asheville, North Carolina-based company, Paddle Energy, to ask Central Maine Power Co. to evaluate potential infrastructure upgrades that may be necessary to plug a solar project into the grid.

Richard Jordan, a developer for Paddle Energy, said the company needs to show “right, title, and interest” in the property before CMP will consider a study.

An analysis is required before the company can move forward with the solar project. CMP will give Paddle Energy an estimated cost for system upgrades and the solar company will “sort of horse trade with them,” Jordan said, to come up with the most efficient way to sell power back to the grid.

“That could take a year to three years at best,” he said.

After that, the company would begin the permitting process for the project.


Usually CMP charges about $1 million per mile for the kind of infrastructure upgrades that would allow the type of solar energy project Paddle Energy is proposing to plug into the electrical grid, he said.

Paddle Energy will pay the town a holding fee of $4,000 for a lease option on the property for the first year. The town and Paddle Energy can then reevaluate at the end of the first year and possibly extend the option for up to two more years. Paddle Energy would pay $5,000 for the second year option and $6,000 for the third year, Jordan said.

After the lease option ends, Paddle Energy, if it decides to move forward with a solar project, could negotiate a longer term lease with the town. Paddle Energy would pay an annual fee of $1,600 per acre, which would increase by 2.0% each year of the lease. The initial lease term would be for 20 years, but could be extended for up to 15 more years, Jordan said.

The project site would take up about 15 acres, and the town would be paid according to the finalized project area.

The site is ideal because Paddle Energy knows the landfill was capped properly and it can install solar panels on top, Jordan said. It is also near three-phase power. The site consists of two capped landfills on either side, with a wooded area in between.

Jordan also outlined plans to install battery backups on the site to store and ultimately use more renewable energy by storing any excess.


“The goal of battery storage would be: all day we’re creating all this solar energy, and all night we’re creating a bunch of wind energy, Jordan said. “Maine produces more energy than it uses. The goal of the backup storage system is we’re taking some of that solar energy that is surplus on the system, we’re storing it for when we need it,” Jordan said.

Paddle Energy is preparing for construction of a separate solar facility on the former town landfill at Hathaway Road and Gravel Pit Road, Jordan said. The town signed a lease for that property last May.

“It’s going really well,” Jordan said. “That project is going to get built.”

Asked her opinion on the proposal, Town Manager Natalie Andrews told the Select Board “it deserves your signatures to explore this further.”

The town office will be closed June 28 to residents to close out the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Paris will hold its annual town meeting at the fire station at 6 p.m. Monday.

The next meeting of the Select Board is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 24 at the Town Office.

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