Solar contractor suggests installing array at Mitchell Field energizes community.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 5, 2024
Solar contractor proposes array at Mitchell Field.pngOrginal image from: https://harpswellanchor.org/2024/06/solar-contractor-proposes-array-at-mitchell-field/

A solar contractor is proposing to lease 5 acres of George J. Mitchell Field for up to 35 years to install a community solar farm. ReVision Energy, a company with offices in Montville and Portland, Maine, as well as locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, will present their proposal to the Harpswell Select Board on Thursday, June 6. The proposal includes paying the town $7,500 for a five-year option to lease the site, with an annual payment increasing by 2% each year if the lease moves forward. The town stands to receive a significant amount over the years if the solar farm operates successfully, providing energy for 219 homes and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Benefits of the Solar Proposal

The solar farm at Mitchell Field would not only generate renewable energy but also offer financial benefits to the town of Harpswell. With the potential to offset the energy needs of multiple homes and reduce carbon emissions, the project aligns with environmental goals. Additionally, the financial compensation offered by ReVision Energy could provide a source of revenue for the town over the lease period.

Community Engagement and Decision Making

The proposal for the solar array at Mitchell Field involves community engagement and decision-making processes. The Select Board has tasked town committees to review the proposal, ensuring that it aligns with the overall interests and goals of the community. If the proposal advances, Harpswell voters will have the final say, emphasizing the importance of democratic decision-making in local projects.

Historical Context and Previous Proposals

The current proposal for a solar array at Mitchell Field is not the first of its kind. In 2016, ReVision Energy proposed a smaller solar array with a different agreement structure, which the town did not act upon. The mention of a solar array in the 2019 Mitchell Field Master Plan indicates a longstanding interest in renewable energy projects. By revisiting the idea of a solar array at Mitchell Field, the town is building upon past discussions and potential opportunities for sustainable energy sources.

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