PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The cities of Portland and South Portland are banking on solar power, as they look to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel for electricity.
City councils in both communities voted last night to move forward with Revision Energy to build solar facilities at their now closed landfills.
The Portland project will be the largest municipal solar plant in the state.
Maine-based ReVision Energy will be placing 3-thousand solar panels at the Ocean Avenue landfill. They will help provide power for City of Portland buildings, producing enough electricity to give city government about 3 ½ percent of its annual consumption. That’s enough to power both City Hall and Merrill Auditorium on an annual basis. It’s part of the city’s goal to become more sustainable.
“Things that are going to preserve the environment, yet we try to make operations more efficient and cost effective in the city”, said Portland Sustainability Coordinator Troy Moon.
ReVision Energy co-founder Fortunat Mueller says closed landfills are an ideal spot for these types of projects. He expects to be doing more of them in the future.
“Largely useless pieces of land, you can’t do any development there. They’re a great match for solar and a lot of municipalities in Maine have closed, capped landfills”, he said.
The city is expected to see energy savings of around $3-million over the life of the plant. It’s putting in money up front, $150,000. But after 6-years it has the option of buying the plant, which is when the savings will start.
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