CUMBERLAND, Maine — Another Maine town is taking strides towards fighting climate change. On Tuesday, the town of Cumberland unveiled its new solar field. There are 1,248 panels on the field, which is built on top of the town's capped landfill.
"Basically it was all municipal, solid waste, and it basically sat here dormant," said Cumberland town manager Bill Shane. "We're not allowed to let trees grow through it because of the trash underneath, so we have to mow it all the time, and when they approached us about using this for a solar field it made a ton of sense."
Cumberland worked with ReVision Energy to construct the solar array. It is expected to produce 600,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
The city of Cumberland purchased the equipment for the solar field through a power purchase agreement. That means the solar field came at no upfront cost to the town, and for the next six years, will only have to pay for the solar generated. In six years, the town will be able to officially purchase the field for $600,000.
ReVision Energy expects the town to see savings of roughly $20,000 in the first year. The solar field will be used to provide electricity to all of the town's municipal buildings. Shane expects, in the next seven to eight years, to see savings of more than $100,000. Shane hopes that it will eventually lead to savings in the millions for the town.
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