UGE International, a commercial and community solar developer, announced the receipt of ‘Notice to Proceed’ (NTP) milestone for a 2.8 MW ground-mounted solar project in Bangor, Maine, whose fair market value is $9.2 million.
The project is UGE’s largest community solar project to date and will be built on a vacant field on the outskirts of Bangor, Maine, owned by Grant Realty.
The NTP milestone indicates that financing for the project has closed, and all permits and interconnection approvals for the project are in place.
Subscriptions for the project will be managed by Energywell, an energy technology company offering clean electricity and community solar products under its ThinkEnergy retail platform. All energy produced by the facility will be used by local residents.
UGE had the project appraised by an third-party firm at a value of $3.24 per watt, giving the project a fair market value of $9.2 million. The project is expected to produce an average of approximately $626,402 in annual revenue, once operational, with a total facility lifetime of up to 35 years. The company currently expects average recurring revenue to carry gross margins at or around 85%.
The Bangor community solar project is among 18 MW of UGE solar projects currently under development in Maine and follows two other recent NTPs announced earlier this month in Dover-Foxcroft, a 1 MW project to be deployed for the Foxcroft Academy, a private school, and Veazie, Maine, a 2.7 MW community solar project.
The Veazie project location is categorized as a low-to-moderate income (LMI) community, and is expected to receive the 10% LMI Investment Tax Credit adder as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, UGI stated, potentially bringing the total ITC on the $9.1 million project to a 50% ITC credit.
Including the Bangor project, UGE has reached NTP on 10 MW of projects this year and commercial operation on 1.4 MW of projects. Construction on its latest project is set to begin this spring.
Maine was one of the early adopters of community solar in the U.S., with original legislation for community solar first passed in 2009. Due to net metering caps and policy changes, in 2019 the Maine Legislature passed its current community solar framework, ‘An Act to Promote Solar Energy Projects and Distributed Generation Resources in Maine,’ to encourage the development of DG solar to both residential and commercial businesses.
Under its community solar program, participating customers receive kilowatt-hour (kWh) credits on their electric utility bill that reduce the amount of the payment owed to the utility, to the standard offer service provider, or, if applicable, to the customer’s competitive electricity provider.
According to the Department of Energy’s Community Solar Market Trends database, as of early 2022 the state of Maine had 12.49 MW of active community solar projects.
Over the last two years alone, Brookfield Renewable-owned Luminace, Nautilus Solar Energy, Nexamp, Renewable Properties, Standard Solar, Summit Ridge Energy, SunRaise and Syncarpha Capital have been involved in Maine community solar development through project financing, development or acquisition, according to pv magazine USA coverage.
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