29 Jun Novel Expanding Community Solar to Northern Maine
ASHLAND, ME – Novel Energy Solutions, a national solar energy company dedicated to simplifying the switch to solar energy, is proud to announce plans to bring its successful community solar garden program to businesses in northern Maine starting next year.
Businesses and organizations served by Versant Power’s Maine Public District – covering most of Aroostook County and portions of Penobscot County – will be eligible to sign up for the first community solar garden, which is currently slated to come online in Q1 of 2022. The program planned for Maine is modeled after Novel’s successful program operating in Minnesota: once the garden goes live, participating businesses will receive monthly bill credits for their percent of the energy produced.
Connor McCarthy, Subscription Sales Manager for Novel, says the Versant project marks the organization’s first foray into the Maine market. The Maine Green Power program was created in 2019. Currently, only businesses and community organizations are eligible to sign up, but a separate residential program is in the works.
“This is a program that has had great success before, so we’re excited to bring it to the people of Maine,” said McCarthy. “It’s great to work on projects that end up being win-wins for just about everyone. You’re lowering energy bills while locally sourcing energy – and it’s clean energy, at that.”
Once the first garden goes live, the town of Ashland, Maine will be one of the many organizations benefiting from harnessing the power of the sun. Cyr Martin, Ashland’s town manager, says the garden will be used to help offset the electrical costs of powering the town – streetlights, the town garage, and their recreation center, among other major electrical centers.
Martin says Ashland – a township of roughly 1,200 people – could save up to $10,000 in electrical costs each year.
“This is a small community, so our budget gets pretty tight,” said Martin. “This is going to give us a large savings, and in a year or so, those savings will go straight back to our taxpayers.”
In addition to the town government itself, Martin says Ashland District Schools and two nearby mill operations are considering joining the solar garden – and he believes every business should do the same.
“This is something that businesses should be looking towards anyway, especially for those businesses that use a lot of power,” said Martin. “We’ll be using solar energy to save a lot of money, and I know every business could benefit from that.”
Businesses can still sign up to be a part of the program, but McCarthy says there are no guarantees on how long that will be the case.
“The only way to know your spot is secure is by signing up immediately,” said McCarthy. “I have a few businesses reaching out each day, asking how they can be a part of this.”
Novel Energy Solutions is a family-owned Minnesota-based solar energy company, founded by a 5th generation family farmer. We help our customers enjoy the savings and benefits of solar, whether they want it for their home, farm, business – as well as for non-profits, religious organizations, and government entities. Our customers are provided the opportunity to join one of our off-site community solar gardens, or to install full-scale solar arrays of their own.