UGE International, a leader in commercial and community solar, announces that its 1-megawatt community solar farm in Norway, Maine reached commercial operation and has begun generating electricity.
The Norway Community Solar Farm is built atop a former landfill, making this project a ‘brightfield’ – a brownfield site redeveloped into a solar project. Brightfields provide maximum environmental and economic value by turning otherwise unusable land into sources of clean renewable energy, and sources of income in the form of long-term lease payments for the owner of the brownfield – in this case the Town of Norway.
The Town of Norway is also a subscriber to the Norway Community Solar Farm, alongside a variety of local businesses in Norway and surrounding towns. These subscribers benefit from reduced electricity costs and simultaneously offset the carbon footprints of their operations. In total, the solar farm will offset over 1,000 metric tons of CO2 each year, the equivalent generated by burning more than 150,000 gallons of gasoline.
“With the opening of the first community solar project in our town, we’re proud to be supporting Maine’s transition to renewable energy,” says Brad Plante, Norway’s Interim Town Manager. “Not only will the project help protect Maine’s environment by reducing the carbon footprint of our community, but it will also benefit our town and local businesses financially for decades to come.”
The Centre for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE), a non-profit grassroots environmental organization in Norway, has been involved in bringing the project to town since the beginning.
“The shared, accessible nature of community solar aligns well with our mission to support a just transition to a thriving, regenerative economy,” said Scott Vlaun, Executive Director of CEBE. “We’re thrilled to see the project up and running and generating clean solar electricity in our town while helping local businesses control energy costs.”
UGE had the project appraised by an independent third party at a value of $3.29 per watt, with the project’s total fair market value at $3.6 million. Originally when NTP had been declared, a preliminary valuation of $2.62 per watt was announced. As a brownfield redevelopment project, the Norway Community Solar Farm meets the criteria necessary to receive a 40% Energy Tax Credit.
In addition to the Norway Community Solar Farm, UGE has nine additional community solar projects totaling 16MW under development in Maine, with the next one on track to reach commercial operation this fall. With the completion of this project, UGE’s operating portfolio now stands at 4.8MW, with an additional 18.1MW of projects having reached their NTP milestone this year to-date.