Keith Hevenor, Nexamp Communication Director, explained that Maine has established two types of Net Energy Billing (NEB) programs available to solar developers. As part of Maine’s NEB Tariff Rate Program, which provides dollar credits on participating customers’ electricity bills, the Gorham solar project is available only to non-residential customers. He said, “The primary subscriber for the Gorham project is a large regional healthcare network.”
Photo credit: Chris Crawford
Nexamp sign marks the entrance to the solar farm being built at Rt. 114 and Huston Road.
Green energy is good for us all, no matter who is participating, and in this case, it might just also help keep down the costs of medical care.
According to McEwen, the target completion date is the end of this year, when it will be tested/commissioned and ready to be turned on and connected to the grid. That connection is dependent on the utility, which in this case is CMP. Once the project is up and running, Nexamp’s Asset Management team of electricians take over and will service and maintain the farm.
While the size of the Gorham Project cannot be expanded, McEwen said that a future option might be to add a battery storage system which would provide a more reliable supply of energy, even in poor weather. Battery storage is a big piece of effective solar power and Nexamp is actively involved in research, development and installation of battery storage systems.
“Action is needed now to address the climate challenge we face, and community solar is making it easier for more people to make a difference.”
For most people, Nexamp is probably best known for its mail fliers, encouraging participation in solar projects within the second type of Maine NEB Kilowatt-Hour program. This type is available to residential, commercial, and industrial customers and provides kWh credits on participating customers’ electricity bills by allotting a share of a solar farm to customers, who for a variety of reasons, are unable to install solar panels of their own. There is no cost to become a member of this type of community solar farm. Customers do not have to install, build or hook up anything. People can support green energy and also get a reduced rate on a portion of their CMP bill, at a time when CMP’s rates have increased substantially.
Hevenor said, “Action is needed now to address the climate challenge we face, and community solar is making it easier for more people to make a difference.”
The downside is that the demand to join a community solar project is great. It may take up to two years from the time of sign-up until a solar project is built and a customer is actually assigned and can begin receiving the discount.
Nexamp was founded in 2007 by two U.S. Army veterans and now employs more than 350 people serving nearly 50,000 …….