Nautilus acquires 26 MW of Maine community solar


Nautilus Solar Energy said that it has acquired two community solar portfolios of projects under development in Maine from BNRG Maine LLC, a joint community solar development venture led by BNRG Renewables Dirigo Solar.

According to Nautilus, two portfolios are comprised of five projects in Cumberland, Kennebec and Penobscot counties, totaling 26.2 MW in total capacity. All five projects are in various stages of development, with the first projects expected to reach operation by the third quarter of 2022. Nautilus will act as the long-term owner of the projects and will be responsible for overseeing construction, maintaining its long-term performance, and acquiring and managing customer subscriptions. Any residential Central Maine Power utility customer is eligible to subscribe to the projects through Nautilus with no upfront cost, no long-term commitment, and no cancellation fees, Nautilus reports.

The projects will all operate under Maine’s NEB program, which allows customers to benefit from clean energy savings by offsetting their electrical bills with either owned or shared energy projects, like community solar, which, in turn, spurs further development of these assets within the state. The NEB program has become critical in establishing a healthy and growing community solar market in Maine.

Nautilus Solar acquired these portfolios in two separate transactions with BNRG Maine, bringing Nautilus’ capacity of acquired and developed community solar projects within the state to more than 92 MW, of which 52 MW will be operational end of Q3 2022 and 88 MW by the end of 2022. Nautilus has made a big push into community solar since being acquired in 2019 by Power Sustainable, a subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.

In April, Nautilus announced the completion of a 24.9 MW community solar portfolio in New York. Comprised of four projects located in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Genesee, and Steuben counties, the combined portfolio provides enough power for an estimated 1,950 households and multiple commercial subscribers, including the Target, Lowe’s, and Hannaford Brothers. Two months before that, the company announced the completion of a pair of community solar portfolios in Colorado and Minnesota.

In Colorado, Denver-based Pivot Energy and Nautilus completed a 13 MW community solar portfolio, which is made up of seven projects located in Crowley, Weld, and Logan counties. The installations provide energy to an estimated 1,700 households and 12 commercial subscribers, including the Town of Breckenridge. The projects are in the Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy utility territories.

In Minnesota, Nautilus acquired twelve community solar projects in Minnesota totaling 16.8 MW of solar capacity, located in Blue Earth, Sherburne, Wabasha, Winona, Sibley, Wright, Pope, and Meeker counties. The projects are all in various stages of development, with the first several projects expected to be operational by the end of 2022. Once completed, the projects will provide a clean energy option to 4,200 households in Minnesota within the Xcel Energy electric utility territory. Any residential Xcel Energy utility customer in Minnesota located in the same or adjacent county to a project may subscribe through Nautilus with no upfront cost, no long-term commitment and no cancellation fees, Nautilus reports.

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