BANGOR DAILY NEWS: Maine solar development attracts $100M investment

By The Associated Press

A Dublin-based solar-electric development company has partnered with a Maine firm to develop large-scale projects in eight communities. 

BNRG Renewables and Dirigo Solar LLC in Portland are in the first phase of a plan that could bring 350 megawatts of generating capacity, or enough electricity to power approximately 78,000 homes, to Maine, the Portland Press Herald reports. The three-phase plan is scheduled to come online in 2024.

The first phase was sold to The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm.

Construction has begun on the projects located in Oxford, Fairfield, Milo and Augusta. The remaining projects will be located in Auburn, Palmyra, Winslow and Hancock. The projects vary in size from 26 megawatts in Milo to 7.3 megawatts in Palmyra and Fairfield. 

The first phase will generate enough energy to power roughly 22,440 homes and will create 1,000 construction jobs, according to BNRG estimates. The second phase will cost an additional $100 million or so in private capital and construction is planned to begin next year, according to Bob Cleaves, a co-founder and principal investor in Dirigo. If all three phases are completed as planned, the BNRG-Dirigo solar portfolio will be the largest investment in renewable energy in state history.