Renewable Properties acquires 40 MW community solar portfolio in Maine

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Renewable Properties expands its portfolio in Maine with a third tranche of projects acquired from NextGrid, bringing its total Maine portfolio to over 42 MWdc of community solar projects in various stages of development, construction, and operation.

Renewable Properties was founded in 2017, and it specializes in developing and investing in small-scale utility and community solar and energy storage projects throughout the United States. The company currently has a pipeline of 650 MW solar energy projects under development throughout the southeast, midwest, northeast and Western U.S.  It has also acquired over 100 MW that is either under construction or in operation

The recent projects acquired from NextGrid are participating in Maine’s net energy billing (NEB) program, which allows residential, commercial, municipal, and industrial customers to offset their electricity bills with the energy generated from renewable energy projects located within their utility service territory. The renewable energy landscape of Maine shifted dramatically in 2019, when current Gov. Janet Mills bolstered the NEB policy and also raised the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 50% by 2030. In addition, Maine has plans to install 375 MW of distributed solar by mid-2024 and to reduce the state’s emissions 45% from 1990 levels by 2030. Since these favorable solar policies were introduced, solar generating capacity in Maine has surged by 300%. The projects acquired by Renewable Properties will contribute significantly to continued solar growth in the state.

“We’re excited to help Maine expand its energy market with community solar, which increases access to local clean energy and its many benefits,” said Aaron Halimi, founder and CEO of Renewable Properties. “With these projects, local homes and businesses will save on their electricity bills, regardless of whether they rent or own their roof with no money down. We’re excited about partnering with NextGrid on this portfolio of projects and look forward to building our long-standing working relationship.”

The operational projects in the initial portfolio tranche total 18.63 MW. They include two in the town of Lewiston, one in Poland, and one in Waterville. The 7.5 MW projects in Lewiston projects have 1,233 subscribers and has been operational since Sept. 1, 2022. The projects will offset 7,750 tons of CO2 annually. The 5.56 MW Poland project came online on Dec. 23, 2021, has 1,081 subscribers, and will generate enough energy to offset 5,946 tons of CO2 per year. The 5.55 MW Waterville project came online on March 16, 2022, has 780 subscribers, and will generate enough solar energy to offset 4,959 tons of CO2 annually.

Two projects of 5.4 MW each are under construction in Bangor and Howland. The projects, scheduled to come online by end of Q2 2023, will generate enough clean energy to power approximately 1,202 homes and offset 10,525 tons of CO2 annually. Construction is set to begin in Q1 2023 on another three projects, totaling 12.6 MW, with expected completion in December 2023. These projects, located in Bangor, Winslow, and Manchester, will generate enough solar to power 1,257 homes and offset 11,000 tons of CO2 annually.

“With these acquisitions, Renewable Properties continues to show its commitment to community solar in Maine,” said Aaron Culig, president of NextGrid. “We were pleased to partner with Renewable Properties for this third acquisition and look forward to building on our successful working relationship.”

NexGrid focuses on commercial opportunities and reports that it is one of the largest low-income community solar companies in the United States, with over 1 GW in development and 150 MW of solar-plus-storage assets in operation. In addition to the NextGrid portfolio acquisitions, Renewable Properties is separately developing a 2.8MW project in Skowhegan and another 2.8 MW project in Orono.

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