Ellsworth set to buy all its electricity from 11,000-panel solar farm – Bangor Daily News

The city of Ellsworth is expected to become the biggest buyer for power credits generated by a 40-acre solar panel installation on Mariaville Road, where a New Hampshire-based developer plans to erect nearly 11,000 panels.

The Ellsworth City Council voted 6-1 Monday to OK a deal with SunRaise Investments, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, under which the city would buy credits for all the power generated at a 29-acre site on the east side of Mariaville Road. The city expects to sign a contract to also buy credits for power generated at an 11-acre parcel on the west side of Mariaville road, which is part of the same project, at a later date.

The overall agreement with SunRaise to buy credits associated with both parcels is expected to save the city a total of $3.6 million in electricity costs over the 20-year term of the contract. SunRaise expects to begin construction at the two sites next spring and to wrap up in the fall of 2021.

SunRaise gained city approval in June to develop the two privately owned lots into solar farms that together would have a projected capacity of more than 6 million kilowatt hours per year. Last month, the city planning board approved a decommissioning plan for the development, which guarantees that the nearly 11,000 panels will be removed at no cost to the city if the solar farm becomes defunct, according to the Ellsworth American.

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