Kennebunkport ME to save $30K per year with solar power contract

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — The town is expecting to save close to $30,000 on its electricity bill each year and reduce its carbon footprint, thanks to its participation in the Maine Net Billing Energy Program.

Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday, June 24, to authorize Town Manager Laurie Smith to enter into a contract with Encore Renewable Energy to purchase solar credits at discounted rates. The move is expected to save the town close to $600,000 throughout the 20-year life of the contract, according to Karina Graeter, the sustainability coordinator for the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission.

“Wow,” said Selectman Allen Daggett. “That’s just plain great.”

Welcome to Kennebunkport

The state’s net billing program was established by a state law passed in 2019. The legislation allowed Mainers to meter solar power on their roofs or take part in community solar farms. It also set up a new net energy billing program specifically for commercial and industrial customers, such as municipalities.

Encore Renewable Energy will build two solar farms in Athens, Maine, that will deliver electricity to Central Maine Power. Under the program, CMP will measure how much electricity it receives and will calculate how much it is worth in monetary credits. CMP will then apply those credits to the town’s bill.