Solar Powered Electric Cars on the Road in Maine

By ReVision Energy | Dec 05, 2012
Courtesy of: ReVision Energy, LLC This solar tracker, installed by ReVision Energy, provides all the power needed for this electric vehicle

One of the best parts about living in New England is the sense of community – neighbors helping neighbors.  Historically, that may have meant pitching in to help with a barn raising or helping a neighbor get through a tough winter; today, one ReVision Energy customer has proven that neighborly-ness can help make solar happen.

Enter Fred Garbo, high-energy performer with Fred Garbo’s Inflatable Theater Company and one of the first Nissan LEAF owners in Maine.  The concept of powering his electric car with solar electricity just made sense for Fred, who also fell in love with the technology behind the dual-axis tracking systems we install by AllEarth Renewables.

The tricky part?  Fred’s home is tucked inside a picturesque stretch of Maine woods, and while cutting down trees to open a solar window was possible, it didn’t seem like the eco-friendliest way to go.  So Fred teamed up with ReVision to investigate alternatives for an on-site located solar installation.

Fred contacted his neighbor, a cattle farmer who owns a nearby piece of farmland.  The farmer leased Fred a 50’ by 50’ piece of land with an easement, on which ReVision could install a 4.8 kilowatt ground-mounted solar tracker.  Central Maine Power’s transmission pole #99 just happened to be 43 feet away, making a perfect tie-in point to feed the utility grid.

The project unfolded at light speed over the next five weeks, with a dedicated electrical service installed by ReVision in a corner of the sunny field, beside the long rows of baled hay.  The utility company brought a 200A electric service line right to the site, allowing the solar to connect to the grid.  ReVision Energy supplied and installed a series-20 AllSun tracker.

Though the system feeds electricity into the grid about 1.25 miles away from Fred’s home, it generates net-metering credits Fred can use for all of his household’s regular loads.  This type of program is called ‘aggregate net metering,’ meaning that energy production at one location can be applied towards energy consumption at a different location.  Maine is one of a handful of states that  has such a policy.


Now that his solar array is up and running, Fred's Nissan Leaf electric vehicle runs on 100% sunshine.

To learn more about solar energy, contact Jennifer at ReVision Energy at 589-4171 or

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