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NJ company acquires 8 community solar projects in Maine, as industry revitalizes


While Maine’s solar energy industry receives new investment, eight community solar installations planned across the state have been sold to a New Jersey company.

Nautilus Solar Energy LLC has acquired the projects, totaling 47.2 megawatts of projected capacity, from ISM Solar Development LLC for an undisclosed price, according to a press release Thursday.

Solar developments are in Cumberland, Knox, Oxford and York counties, but specific locations were not immediately available.

Nautilus expects to innovate on projects in the third quarter of this year. Nautilus said that when completed, the solar panels will be able to power nearly 10,000 homes in the territory of Central Maine Power Co., the state’s largest electric utility.

In January, Nautilus entered the Maine solar market with the acquisition of three community projects, in Fryeburg, Sanford and Wells. These developments, launched and sold by Walden Renewables Development LLC, are expected to have a combined capacity of 19.2 MW.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil-fueled power plants, Nautilus said its projects in Maine will create about 100 jobs in construction and ongoing operations.

The company attributed its interest in Maine to laws of 2019 that made the state more attractive for solar development. They include regulatory changes for net metering, which is the ability to store excess energy produced for later use or sale. A new law raises the cap to allow panels up to 5 MW, which could cover up to 20 to 25 acres, from 660 kilowatts, the size of a panel on three or four acres.

Other signs of the revitalization of Maine’s solar industry include the November sale of a 50 MW development at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport to a group of investors, as part of an acquisition of seven $ 300 million sites. There have also been smaller deals, like a $ 2.4 million contract last September for a Vermont company to build a 6.8 MW solar system in the Portland area. This is Maine’s first project for Peck Co. Holdings Inc.

Nautilus, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, typically acquires solar projects in the mid to late stage of development. The company has developed and managed hundreds of solar installations, from community projects to large commercial projects, according to its website. Nautilus is owned by Power Sustainable Capital, a Montreal-based sustainable energy company.

Commenting on the eight new projects, Nautilus Co-CEO Jim Rice said in the statement, “This acquisition significantly expands our presence in the renewable energy industry in Maine and symbolizes Nautilus’s commitment to providing equitable access. and affordable community solar power for all Mainers. “

ISM Solar CEO Greg Lucini added: “My family has lived on Lake Thompson for over 25 years and we have an office in Poland. With local ties and a vested interest in Maine, we are especially proud to play a role in bringing community solar power to our neighbors.

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