Luminace, a Brookfield Renewable Partners portfolio company, has reached an agreement to acquire a 21.6 MWdc portfolio of community solar projects in Maine from EDF Renewables North America.
The portfolio includes Overlook Solar (7.2 MW) in Bristol, Tower Solar (7.2 MW) in Embden, Maine, and Green Mile Solar (7.2 MW) in Woolwich, close to the coastal communities of Bath, Sebasco and Popham Beach, Maine. The projects are estimated to reach commercial operation in 2023.
Discounted bill credits from the projects will be sold to 18 local municipalities, non-profits, and small businesses under Central Maine Power’s Net Energy Billing Program. This platform will allow many of the buyers to in some cases go 100% renewable through the purchase of RECs bundled with existing energy credits, while realizing significant savings on their utility bill over a 20-year term.
The three projects are expected to generate 27,600 MWh of low-carbon energy annually, enough to power 8,400 homes in Maine. This is equivalent to avoiding over 19,560 metric tons of carbon emissions annually which represents the greenhouse gas emissions from over 4,200 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.
“This latest acquisition is an important step in our growth strategy across the U.S. to bring clean energy solutions to our valued customers, as well as the evolving value propositions offered via Community Solar market expansion,” said Brendon Quinlivan, senior vice president of distributed generation at Luminace.
In 2019, the Maine Legislature passed distributed generation legislation to encourage the development of solar and small renewable projects in the state. The DG program calls for the procurement of a total of 375 MW of solar and small renewables resources by July 2024, through five separate procurement blocks. For projects awarded under the procurement, Maine’s electric utilities agree to enter into 20-year contracts at the contractual rate established for that particular block.
Maine has programs available that provide opportunities for residential and commercial customers to participate in community solar projects.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Maine ranks 32nd in the U.S. for solar capacity but deployed a record amount of new solar projects in 2021 with 289.3 MW of deployments. The state’s solar market saw $341 million of investments that year.
Earlier this week, Renewable Properties acquired a 40 MWdc Maine community solar portfolio from NextGrid, bringing its total Maine portfolio to over 42 MWdc in various stages of development.
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