LePage Administration Opposing Solar Power Compromise

Mar 9, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage's administration says a compromise that would increase Maine's solar power capacity from about 18 megawatts to 250 megawatts over five years would hurt ratepayers.

Energy office staff members tell The Portland Press Herald that the plan keeps subsidies for homeowners who install rooftop solar panels. They say they prefer a market-based solution.

The compromise is supported by solar installers, the state's Office of Public Advocate, Central Maine Power and Emera Maine. Supporters say the plan would create about 800 jobs and help all ratepayers.

Under the plan, utilities would buy output from each market segment. Revenue from power sales would be used to offset contract costs. Existing customers would be able to net meter through 2029.

A public hearing on this issue is expected next week.