The Edgecomb planning board tabled a request Feb. 18 by a community solar power project. Syncarpha Solar of New York City wants to create a community solar project which would provide Mainers electricity. Syncarpha created Edgecomb Solar, LLC which would construct a solar array on U.S. Route 1 near the Newcastle line.
Syncarpha has dozens of community solar projects nationwide and the Edgecomb project would be one of three planned for Maine in 2021, according to Project Manager Mike Atkinson. The Edgecomb Solar Project would produce just under five megawatts of electricity on a parcel of land less than 20 acres. Syncarpha’s proposal allows for people who want green electricity, but don’t want to attach solar panels to their homes. Edgecomb Solar would produce electricity and sell it to customers at a discount.
“We would offer the discounted rate to Edgecomb residents first, but the electricity could be sold to anyone,” Atkinson said. He estimates customers would receive a 15% discount on their current Central Maine Power bills. The Edgecomb project would provide electricity to “hundreds” of customers, according to Atkinson.
In October, Syncarpha representatives who met with the planning board to explain the company’s proposal explained it as “like paying $85 for a $100 gift card.”
The solar panels have a 20-40 year life expectancy, and Atkinson expects his firm to stay with the project for the entire term. “Our approach is different than most solar power companies,” he said. “Most construct a solar array and sell it. We plan on operating our projects for the long term.” Atkinson said the Edgecomb location was selected due to its proximity to a CMP substation.
Board Chairman Barry Hathorne said on Feb. 19 the proposal was tabled so Syncarpha could provide more information. The planning board meets next at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 4.