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Environment and Outdoors

Portland Mayor: 'City Hall Will Now Be Powered By The Sun'

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Willis Ryder Arnold
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Maine Public
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling (3rd from left, with no hat) helps Councilor Justin Costa cut the ribbon on Portland's new solar array.

Maine's largest city is one step closer to achieving its goal of running entirely on renewable energy by 2040.At a news conference Tuesday, Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling said the city's new solar grid atop the capped Ocean Avenue Landfill will now contribute enough energy to power City Hall and Merrill Auditorium.

"City Hall will now be powered by the sun and I think that's something we can take great pride in," Strimling said.

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Credit Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public
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Maine Public
Portland officials Tuesday unveiled the city's new solar array, which sits atop the capped Ocean Avenue Landfill.

The project cleared several hurdles over the last couple years - including landfill leaks - which delayed panel installations. Strimling said it will be a plus for the city, its residents, and the planet.

"This is a very important step in that process of making sure that we can reduce our impact on the planet and also reduce the costs of the people that live in the city of Portland," he said. "This is a win-win for everyone."

To meet its goals, the city also built an array at the Riverside Golf Course and another on the Portland Jetport parking structure. 

The project has prompted some renewable energy advocates to call on Maine Gov.-elect Janet Mills to push for more investment in solar at the state level.