Portland behind in solar power, according to report

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When it comes to solar power, Portland is seeing slower growth than many American cities, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report was released during a press conference outside Becky's Diner, which installed solar panels in 2010. It was commissioned by Environment Maine, and ranks Portland 44th for solar energy, out of 57 cities studied. The report found that the cities with the highest rankings have policies in place to encourage home and business owners to invest in solar panels.

This comes just weeks after Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would have re-established Maine's solar rebate program. That program would cost ratepayers about sixty cents a year on their electric bills. Zach Rand of Becky's Diner says without the program, the business would not have been able to afford the solar panels.

"We do well down here, we are busy down here, but you don't want to fall too far in debt with certain projects," Rand told NEWS CENTER. "So everything is weighed on a what it can bring to the table versus what it costs to bring to the table."

Governor LePage's office did not respond to a request for comment on this story.


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