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$10 million solar farm planned for Owls Head

By Stephen Betts | Sep 09, 2020
Photo by: Knox County The proposed solar farm would be located on Knox County property located from Route 73 near Frankie's Garage to the back of the Owls Head Transportation Museum.

Owls Head — The Knox County Commissioners held off on a vote Tuesday on a proposal for a $10 million solar farm that would be located near the airport.

The project would consist of 16,000 to 17,000 solar panels on 30 acres of a 55-acre parcel owned by the county.

Knox County Regional Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw said Sept. 8 the project will be paid for through the $17.9 million the airport received earlier in April through the federal CARES Act.

The solar farm would produce five megawatts of electricity and generate an estimated $700,000 in annual revenues for the airport which would no longer need any financial support from local property taxpayers. The airport would eliminate its approximately $36,000 annual electrical costs, and have the ability to sell power through the community solar program to up to 200 customers.

Two companies have submitted proposals to develop and operate the solar farm -- Synergy Companies of California and ReVision Energy in Maine. Revision's proposal was for $10.3 million and Synergy nearly $10 million.

The proposals will go before the Airport Advisory Committee. The airport manager said he expects that the local firm will be given consideration for the better service it could provide. The proposal would then come back to the commissioners for a formal vote.

The potential developers indicated that a realistic schedule for when the solar farm would be operating would December 2022, depending on the permitting process.

Because of regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration that regulate the use of airport revenue, the county would be able to purchase power at a reduced rate for its other facilities, but could could not receive free power from the solar farm.

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Comments (6)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Sep 10, 2020 08:25

Of course if these estimates are correct along with the "out of sight" placement of the panels it would be difficult at best to say anything negative about a project that will provide power, revenue and save residents thousands on their tax bill.  I just find it hard to swallow that our elected representatives can not find a way to fund our schools, or provide assistance to millions out of work, out of food and out of quality health care citizens.  If a small regional airport in rural Maine received $18 million how much do you think was spent all together nationwide ?

Posted by: Debra Damon | Sep 09, 2020 13:08

I think Solar power would be great to have. Where do you see a Monstrosity/eyesore blighting us John. It's going to be in the woods from what I can tell from the map?

Posted by: Deborah Clarisse Morrison | Sep 09, 2020 12:51

Out of 18 million, it would be nice to have VASI lights put back on runway 21.  It is a well used runway and the lights used to be there.  They are very helpful at night when coming over a black harbor with no ILS.  Safety first!

I can't wait for our hangar leases to be free since there will be no need for income from the tax payers (must be true, I read it on the internet!)  SM

Posted by: Gayle Murphy | Sep 09, 2020 11:07

You post comments 24/7/365 about your disdain for a cell tower in Rockland, but automatically assume that Owls Head residents want this monstrosity/eyesore blighting their town?  Lack of self-awareness Level 10.


John Murphy

Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Sep 09, 2020 10:00

Hoping the Maine company gets the job.

Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Sep 09, 2020 09:53

WOW!!! Hoping the Maine company gets the job.

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