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    New England's biggest solar project is catching some rays


    November 22, 2021 - Associated Press

     

      FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) — A 490-acre (200-hectare) solar energy farm in Maine is now online and connected to the regional power grid.

      The $110 million, 76.5-megawatt solar farm in Farmington is touted as the biggest in New England. NextEra is the developer of the solar project that will power close to 17,000 New England homes annually.

      “Seeing solar farms like this become operational helps continue our steady progress toward cleaning our energy supply, bringing new investment to the state, and creating job opportunities," said Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association.

      Bowdoin College joined four schools from Massachusetts to help fund the massive array of solar panels.

      For helping get a clean energy project off the ground, Bowdoin gets to claim those credits toward offsetting its own recorded carbon footprint, said Matt Orlando, Bowdoin's senior vice president of finance. The others are Amherst, Hampshire, Smith and Williams colleges.

      Orlando told News Center Maine that it's not just colleges that should be excited about the project. He said it'll help the entire region.

      “Atmospheric carbon dioxide is not aware of state borders,” Orlando said.

      NextEra spent about $20 million to oppose the New England Clean Energy Connect, which would bring enough renewable energy to power 1 million homes in New England.

      Maine residents rebuked the project in a referendum, and there is ongoing litigation over the $1 billion project.

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