- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2020

BELFAST, Maine (AP) - A New Hampshire development company plans to use 20-acres of a Maine hayfield for a solar array that could power about 1,440 homes.

The 5-megawatt solar farm proposed by SunRaise Investments is the product of legislation from 2019 aimed at increasing the state’s solar energy production, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Maine was ranked 43rd nationally in 2019 for its solar capacity by Solar Energy Industries Association.

The Belfast Planning Board has approved the project and construction could begin as early as this fall, according to Pat Jackson of SunRaise Investments. Jackson said it is more likely that construction would begin next spring.

Jackson said the project will help keep the hay farm alive and provide revenue for the landowner.

“The majority of (the land) would remain in hay production, with the minority in the solar project,” he said.

Jackson said the company will sell the energy produced to Central Main Power customers, but it hasn’t decided if it will serve commercial or residential customers.

“The details are still to be determined, but there will be commercial tax revenue for 20-plus years,” he said.

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