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Governor makes good on pledge to make Blaine House solar

The 64-panel solar array has panels on the garage roof at the Blaine House, and on a free-standing rack that turns to track the sun.
Credit: NCM
The 64-panel solar array has panels on the garage roof at the Blaine House, and on a free-standing rack that turns to track the sun.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Governor Janet Mills on Tuesday made good on a promise from her inauguration and showed off a system of solar panels installed at the Blaine House.

The 64-panel solar array has panels on the garage roof at the Blaine House, and on a free-standing rack that turns to track the sun. The Governor says the system will produce about a quarter of the electricity used in the Blaine House and will eliminate the equivalent of several barrels of oil.

Mills also signed an executive order, telling state agencies to look for more energy efficiency opportunities in state buildings, use alternative energy where possible, including electric vehicles, and lead by example when it comes to energy. She says Maine has to do more to cut fossil fuel use.

“Enough is enough,” the Governor told several dozen people gathered for the occasion. “So while these panels will have a substantive impact we view them only as a start for state government, it is time for state government to lead.”

According to the Governor’s communications office, the solar system cost $62,000, and the money came from existing programs in the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, which oversees state buildings.

The Governor’s office also released a letter it received from Walker Blaine, praising the solar panel installation. Walker Blaine indicated he is the great, great-grandson of James G. Blaine, former U.S. Speaker of the House, U.S. Senator from Maine, Secretary of State and Republican candidate for President in 1884. Blaine was an Augusta business leader who owned and lived in the house that now carries his name.

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