NextEra: Four former Ranger Solar projects will be operating by end of 2019

From Mainebiz

September 25, 2017


NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) is moving forward on four large solar projects in Maine that are expected to be commercially active by 2019. The company acquired Yarmouth-based Ranger Solar’s portfolio earlier this year.
The Florida-based company, which says it’s the largest wind and solar power company in the world, is developing solar projects in Farmington, Sanford, Fairfield and Clinton for completion in the next two years.

Ranger Solar develops solar and wind projects, working with communities on locations and moving them forward, while NextEra is a “developer, owner and operator of power generation facilities that acquired Ranger’s project pipeline,” said NextEra spokesman Steven Stengel.

Also included in the acquisition was the 100-megawatt project at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. At the time the Limestone project was announced last October, it was billed as the biggest in New England and is expected to bring 300 construction jobs to Aroostook County while it is being built.

Stengel said Friday that the Limestone project, while a priority, is not as far along as the other four.
All of the projects were initially developed by Ranger Solar. Along with nine other Ranger Solar projects in New England, they were acquired by NextEra in late spring, when it bought Ranger’s “project pipeline,” Stengel said.
The Farmington project, on 600 acres of farmland on U.S. Route 2 and could generate up to 75 megawatts of energy, is still in the permitting progress. Company representatives plan to meet with the town’s selectmen Tuesday, and hold more public hearings as plans take shape.

The Sanford project, at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport, will produce 50 megawatts of energy. Construction is expected to start on the project late this year or early next year.

The two others, on U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield, just south of Skowhegan, and on Winslow Road in Clinton, are planned for 20 megawatts, which could power up to 7,000 homes each. The energy has already been sold to a Connecticut company, officials have said. Those projects are expected to create 185 construction jobs.

NextEra: A global player

Stengel said Sanford and the three central Maine projects are expected to be in commercial operation by the end of 2019.

The Sanford project is on land leased from the city. It is expected to provide enough electricity to power up to 20,000 homes, the company said last year. The first phase, slated to begin by the end of this year, will provide between $60 million and $80 million of new taxable property, Mainebiz reported last year.

The project will create approximately 94 construction jobs and up 10 full-time positions, said Aaron Svedlow last fall when he was director of environmental permitting for Ranger. He is now a Yarmouth-based solar development project direct with NextEra.

NextEra also owns and operates Wyman Station on Cousins Island in Yarmouth, as well as the Cape Station in South Portland, on Portland Harbor, both oil-burning plants. The company also owns the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire.

While it has 32 operating solar power facilities in nine states, as well as Spain and Ontario, the five that are in the planning process are its first in Maine. The company also has more than 100 wind-generating plants across the country, but none in Maine.

It at one time owned 19 hydro-electric generating dams in Maine, but sold them to Brookfield in 2013.

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Brooklyn OKs tax deal for solar project

By Francesca Kefalas For The Bulletin

BROOKLYN — The Board of Selectmen approved a resolution to accept what could be a $7 million tax deal with the Quinebaug Solar Project.

The two-page resolution outlines the payment schedule for the town over 20 years and First Selectman Rick Ives said it could bring in the town up to $7 million, depending on how much of the project ends up in Brooklyn.

“We don’t have a whole lot of rights available to us,” First Selectman Rick Ives said. “We can’t put too many caveats that involve ownership of the land because we don’t own the land. The only thing we can do is change the way we collect the taxes.”

Ranger Solar, the developer for the Quinebaug Solar Project, won a bid to provide solar energy as part of a three-state effort to reduce the region’s reliance on natural gas infrastructure and improve the reliability and affordability of New England’s electric system. The project will sit on 544-acres straddling the Brooklyn and Canterbury town line. CJ Walsh, a project manager with Ranger Solar said 65 percent of the project is in Brooklyn and 35 percent in Canterbury.

With the agreement now approved, that means as much as 35-megawatts of the 50-megawatt project could be in Brooklyn. The resolution calls for Quinebaug Solar to pay $10,000 per megawatt per year, which is $350,000 a year for 20 years.

Ives said if the town collected taxes based solely on the equipment on the land in Brooklyn, the taxes would have been closer to $6.2 million.

“So the agreement actually gives us a little bump,” Selectman Joe Voccio said.

Canterbury had already approved its financial agreement with the project and Ives said he believes Ranger Solar is ready to begin the permitting process with the state.

Brooklyn and Canterbury have no jurisdiction over the project. The Connecticut Siting Council will decide whether to grant the permit. The siting council will hold a public hearing on the proposal, but it may not be in either of the host communities.

Ranger Solar hosted a forum in each town earlier this year and representatives of the company said then that is expected to make its formal application to the siting council in early 2017.

The only jurisdiction Brooklyn or Canterbury has over the project is the development of the financial agreement. Ives said state statute allows towns to give an abatement to green energy development projects. The agreement is not an abatement, however. It is a stabilization of how the taxes are paid.

Voccio said for developers high costs at the start of a project would make them less feasible.

While they approved the financial agreement, Selectmen stopped short of providing a letter to the Siting Council offering full support of the project.

Selectman Bob Kelleher said he does not believe the board knows how the town feels about the project because fewer than 50 people came to the forum.

All of the selectmen said they want to ensure abutters have their concerns properly addressed through the Siting Council process.

Aaron Svedlow, vice president of permitting for Ranger Solar, said every aspect of the project will be put under the name of Quinebaug Solar and attached as part of the documentation for the Siting Council permit. Svedlow said that includes any agreements made with abutters, including items such as landscaping to shield the view of homeowners and how long the solar project is responsible for that landscaping.

Walsh has been in the area for months making those agreements with the abutters.

Ives said it will be important for the town to participate in the Siting Council process.

“That’s where our protections can come from,” Ives said. “Everything needs to be detailed and nothing can change from those details without going back to the Siting Council.”

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State approves solar array that will be Vermont’s largest

From Vermont Digger

March 29, 2017

By Mike Faher

State regulators have approved a massive Windsor County solar array that will be four times the size of any such project built in Vermont so far.

The Coolidge Solar project, to be built in Ludlow and Cavendish, will be capable of producing 20 megawatts of power. The largest existing array in Vermont is just under 5 megawatts, according to state officials.

A project of this size “had the potential to raise significant issues,” Public Service Board members wrote. But the board said developer Ranger Solar had taken extensive steps to mitigate impacts on aesthetics, the environment, wildlife and power infrastructure.

In granting a certificate of public good, the board wrote that Coolidge Solar “will result in significant economic and environmental benefits for the state of Vermont.”

“Furthermore, the evidence presented in this docket has convinced us that the proposed project can be constructed without undue adverse impacts on Vermont’s natural and built environment and without presenting a risk to health and safety,” board members wrote.

The Coolidge project application dates to 2015, and it initially spurred concerns from state officials, utilities and some neighbors.

There were worries about whether such a large array could be appropriately sited. There also were doubts about whether the state’s electrical infrastructure could handle Coolidge Solar without expensive upgrades.

In late 2015, a Green Mountain Power spokeswoman said the company opposed the project because of cost concerns and because its size conflicted with the utility’s long-term supply strategy.

The power supply conflicts with Green Mountain Power appear to have been resolved by the fact that Coolidge Solar’s electricity will be going out of state.

The Public Service Board said the project was a winning bidder in Connecticut’s efforts to boost its renewable energy portfolio, and Coolidge Solar is negotiating 20-year power purchase agreements with utilities serving that state.

In testimony before the Public Service Board earlier this year, Ranger Solar President Adam Cohen said both the power and the renewable energy credits from Coolidge Solar would be sold to Connecticut utilities.

Even though Green Mountain Power won’t be buying the array’s electricity, Coolidge Solar still will be using Vermont infrastructure. So the project’s state approval is contingent on the developer’s filing a final system impact study and allowing four weeks for its review by interested parties.

At this point, state documents say, Green Mountain Power “does not anticipate any adverse effects on system stability and reliability” due to the addition of Coolidge Solar.

But the utility wants to be sure, said Kristin Carlson, external affairs vice president.

“To protect customers from any potential impacts, Green Mountain Power asked the Vermont Public Service Board and the board required the developer do a study to assess any impacts to the grid as a result of this project,” Carlson said. “The board is also requiring the developer pay any associated costs to connect to the grid.”

The PSB apparently wasn’t concerned that Coolidge Solar’s power is going out of state. Instead, the board adopted a broader, longer-term perspective.

Board members noted that Vermont is part of the regional wholesale electricity market operated by ISO-New England. They cited Coolidge Solar’s “extremely low” operating costs and “relatively low fixed costs.”

“Given that Vermont relies in part on the wholesale market for energy and capacity, the project’s ability to lower wholesale prices should, in turn, result in lower retail costs for Vermont consumers,” the board wrote.

The board also said the array is expected to operate beyond the 20-year deal with Connecticut, “after which the project’s energy, capacity and (renewable energy credits) could help meet Vermont’s need for energy and capacity.”

The board cited a number of other factors in its approval of Coolidge Solar, including:

• Regional energy needs.

“The project will help alleviate a gap between needed and available capacity that the region will face in the coming years due in part to the retirement of existing fossil and nuclear generating units,” the board wrote.

Additionally, “all six New England states have aggressive and increasing requirements for renewable electricity,” board members said.

• Proximity of major electrical infrastructure.

The array will be within 600 feet of a Vermont Electric Power Co. substation and “in close proximity to several large, existing transmission lines,” board members wrote.

Also, state documents say a new converter station is proposed in the area via the New England Power Link project.

• Community outreach and adherence to municipal plans.

Coolidge Solar “will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region” and is consistent with town and regional plans, the state says.

Coolidge Solar worked with town officials in Ludlow and Cavendish as well as with the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission.

Ludlow’s Selectboard voted in December 2015 to support Coolidge Solar, and that support was noted by the Public Service Board in its approval of the project.

• Economic benefits.

The board says Coolidge Solar is expected, over the course of the next two decades, to generate $15 million in labor income and more than $25 million in gross domestic profit for Vermont. Also, the array is supposed to increase state and local tax income by nearly $4 million.

During construction, which is projected to last six months, the project will employ about 80 people, according to state documents. “Four full-time permanent positions are expected thereafter,” the board wrote.

• Environmental impacts.

The board found no evidence that Coolidge Solar would have “undue adverse effect” on wetlands, streams, water supplies, soil erosion and other areas of concern.

Furthermore, the array “will promote air quality in the state and region by displacing fossil fuel generation and associated greenhouse gas emissions,” officials wrote.

Coolidge Solar also has taken steps, in consultation with the state Agency of Natural Resources, to mitigate harm to deer wintering areas and breeding birds.

• Historic sites.

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation has weighed in on the project. Officials say Coolidge Solar will be constructed so it does not have undue adverse effects on the historic Barker Farm or on any Native American archeological sites.

• Aesthetics.

Despite the fact that Coolidge Solar will feature about 82,000 solar panels and result in 38.5 acres of property being cleared, the Public Service Board said the project won’t have significant effects on the area’s scenic or natural beauty.

That’s accomplished in part via landscaping and “establishment of a vegetation management zone.”

Overall, the board wrote, Coolidge Solar “does not have a broad visual impact” and “would not shock or offend the typical passerby in part because it is located in a remote area.”

In addition to the Coolidge project, Ranger Solar has proposed several other large-scale photovoltaic arrays in Vermont. The status of those projects was not immediately clear Tuesday.

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Hinsdale, N.H., project could be largest in Granite State

From the Brattleboro Reformer

January 31, 2017

By Bob Audette

HINSDALE, N.H. — The largest solar array in the state of New Hampshire has received a nod of approval from the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen.

“After meeting with representatives of Chariot Solar, LLC (“Chariot Solar”) several times regarding the proposed up-to 65 megawatt (“MW”) solar electric generation project in the Town of Hinsdale (known as the “Chariot Solar Project”), the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen has voted to support the Project,” wrote Wayne Gallagher, the chairman of the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen, in a letter to Pamela G. Monroe, administrator of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee.

The Board of Selectmen voted Monday night to support the project.

“We are excited to be developing this project in Hinsdale,” stated Ranger’s Senior Vice President, Paul Harris, in a press release. “Chariot Solar will generate clean, renewable power that will help New Englanders save money on their power bills. We share New Hampshire’s commitment to socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and we’re proud to be making this long-term commitment to the state’s clean energy economy.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the town and for the state of New Hampshire,” stated Hinsdale resident Smokey Smith, one of the landowners participating in the project. “Chariot Solar will help establish Hinsdale as a clean energy leader, not just regionally, but nationally.”

In the letter to the Site Evaluation Committee, the board listed a number of reasons why they support the project.

The proposed site is land land that is primarily zoned as industrial and is located adjacent to existing electrical infrastructure and will have limited off-site visibility. In addition, Chariot Solar has designed the Project to avoid sensitive natural resources, including wetlands, sensitive habitat, streams, and vernal pools.

Gallagher also noted that Chariot Solar has communicated with town officials, board, project abutters, and citizens in a transparent and proactive manner beyond any legal requirements.

“The Project will provide a substantial economic benefit to the taxpayers of Hinsdale through a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Tax (“PILOT”) Agreement and through the increased tax revenue from land coming out of current use,” Gallagher wrote. “The Project is consistent with the town’s economic development priorities.”

Another benefit of the project will be a diversification of the regional electric grid, a reduction of regional dependence of fossil fuels, the lowering and stabilization of future energy costs, and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants to improve air quality and public health, helping to mitigate the risks of climate change.

The PILOT agreement provides more than $10 million in revenue to the town within the first 20 years of project operation, which can be used for new roads, bridges, schools or offsetting local residents’ taxes, states a press release from Ranger Solar.

In addition, notes the press release, the project will create approximately 185 jobs during the construction phase and three to six full-time jobs once operational.

“The Chariot Solar project will also generate enough clean energy to power tens of thousands of New England homes and businesses,” states the release. “Over just 20 years, the project will also offset over 500,000 metric tons of (carbon dioxide) emissions, which is equivalent to the (carbon dioxide) emissions from 56,261,956 gallons of gasoline consumed.”

The proposed project will be built on private land and will connect to existing electrical infrastructure.

“Ranger Solar is committed to developing the project efficiently, safely, and without undue adverse impacts to the environment. Ranger has been conducting environmental and cultural resource studies over the last eight months,” states the release. “The project will be constructed in a manner that avoids sensitive resources. Further, the nature of the site and screening the perimeter of the project, where necessary, will minimize the visual impact to the surrounding community.”

After the useful life of the project, the project will be fully decommissioned and the property restored.

New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee has jurisdiction over permitting the project. An application will be filed with the SEC this spring.

According to the press release, the cost of solar energy has dropped about 76 percent since 2006, making it cost competitive with traditional fossil fuel energy sources.

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Solar farms proposed for two central Maine towns

From The Portland Press Herald

January 7, 2017

By Colin Ellis

A Yarmouth-based energy company is proposing a pair of new solar projects – in Fairfield and Clinton – that could generate enough power for 6,000 out-of-state homes combined and create more than 200 jobs locally.

Ranger Solar, which also plans to bring a utility-scale solar farm to Farmington that could break ground in 2018 and eclipse the size of any solar installation now operating in Maine, expects the new projects in Fairfield and Clinton to generate 20 megawatts of power each, but the power will be sent to Connecticut. The photovoltaic systems “require little maintenance, are not highly visible, and do not produce pollution or require water,” according to a notice about the projects in a recent Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce newsletter.

It wasn’t immediately clear where exactly the Fairfield and Clinton projects are planned, but the chamber indicated they would be built on private land. Aaron Svedlow, vice of president of permitting for Ranger Solar, would not disclose specific locations during an interview Friday, saying only that the company has land controlled and would begin studies in the spring.

Svedlow said the utility-scale projects in Fairfield and Clinton still need to go through the permitting process with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection after they complete inspections, but the hope is to complete construction by 2019, if not earlier.

“Each of the projects individually is approximately a $20 million investment, and they’ll bring substantive tax revenue to the area and some temporary construction jobs,” Svedlow said.

Garvan Donegan, an economic development specialist for the Central Maine Growth Council, a public-private collaborative group based in Waterville, said projects like these are funded by federal tax credits, which were extended by Congress in 2015. He said because of that extension, construction of larger energy projects became more feasible, and there has been an upswing in these types of projects, specifically solar.

“It’s quite exciting,” Donegan said. “Maine has the most energy diversity in New England, and solar is included in that.”

While central Maine is experiencing somewhat of an influx in larger-scale solar projects, Donegan said the increase could be seen around the state, including larger cities such as Portland and South Portland, which are conducting feasibility studies. But he said central Maine does have some advantages, such as cheaper land than might be found in southern Maine.

Donegan also said central Maine towns often have large tracts of land near electrical substations, and these could make for a more feasible budget than in a more urban area.

“It really does come down to a case-by-case site evaluation analysis,” Donegan said.

Donegan said these type of projects typically bring in tax revenue and frequently use local employment. According to the notice in the Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce newsletter, Ranger is “committed to using local businesses to help clear land, build electrical systems, and provide other important services wherever possible during construction and operation.”

Fairfield Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said Ranger Solar approached the town last year about a potential project. The energy company then went to the town for a meeting in late November. She said environmental assessments probably would be done in the spring once the snow melts.

The chamber, of which Ranger Solar just became a member, said the central Maine solar projects would bring more than $20 million to the state in new economic development.

In Farmington, a 50- to 80-megawatt solar farm is planned on land owned by Sandy River Farms on Farmington Falls Road, according to farm owner Bussie York.

Ranger Solar is conducting environmental studies on undeveloped land along the road, Svedlow has said.

The projects in Fairfield and Clinton each would occupy about 100 acres, which Svedlow said was consistent with the size of projects Ranger Solar is moving forward with. He said there wasn’t an estimate on how many panels that would translate to, because that would depend on the size panels they use.

“We’re pretty excited about that. We think our chosen locations are well sited and generally not visible by the public,” Svedlow said.

Svedlow said Maine does not have good policies to allow the sale of renewable energy. They were selected through a competitive request-for-proposals process to send the power to Connecticut, he said.

Recently, the state’s largest solar utility project went online at the Madison Business Gateway. The nearly 5-megawatt solar farm consists of roughly 26,000 panels occupying 22 acres, and all the electricity produced there is purchased by Madison Electric Works.

Also, Colby College expects to begin installation of a 1.9-megawatt solar farm in Oakland with 5,505 solar panels on Washington Street. Bowdoin College has a 1.2-megawatt solar power complex in Brunswick. And Ranger continues to move ahead with plans to build a 50-megawatt solar farm at the Sanford municipal airport. The Sanford City Council approved the lease back in May.

Flewelling said the town of Fairfield has also been looking to construct a solar project on the closed landfill. She said this also could be a potential partnership with Ranger, since it already is interested in the larger project. She said the benefit of putting a smaller-scale solar project on a landfill is that the land is available but not able to be developed for anything else.

“There’s not a lot you can do with a closed landfill,” she said.

Svedlow said the smaller-scale project for Fairfield would be something Ranger would consider, and that there are a lot of opportunities for towns across Maine to do similar projects.

“Solar is really emerging as a low-cost, reliable, clean source of energy, and it’s really coming to the forefront,” he said.

Svedlow said Ranger is “very committed” to working with host communities and making sure they benefit from the projects, even if it’s not through purchasing power.

“We’ll continue to engage with the communities, abutters and other stakeholders as projects move forward,” he said.

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Solar emerges as winner in New England Clean Energy RFP

From: Recharge

By Karl-Erik Stromsta

October 26, 2016

Large-scale PV trounced wind in a widely watched clean-energy tender in the northeastern US, adding to the solar sector’s momentum in US regions where onshore wind has dominated the renewables market in recent years.

Three states in New England this week concluded the project-evaluation phase of their Clean Energy Request for Proposal (RFP), selecting a half-dozen solar and wind developers backing projects totaling 460MW.

The highly competitive RFP had called for up to 600MW of new renewables capacity to be flowed into densely populated Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and drew two dozen bids worth several gigawatts of potential capacity from a deep list of developers.

Solar dominated the list of winning projects, with an overall tally of 306MW — nearly twice as high as wind’s 155MW.

The single biggest winner in the RFP was Maine-based developer Ranger Solar, which bid in 220MW of solar capacity spread across a number of 20MW-50MW projects in Maine, Connecticut and New Hampshire — all states with little utility-scale PV in place today.

Other winning solar developers include global renewables heavyweight RES, Massachusetts-based Ameresco, and Deepwater Wind – the developer behind the first US offshore wind farm, which won with its first-ever solar project, the 26MW(ac) Simsbury array in Connecticut.

The biggest winner on the wind side was Pittsburgh-based EverPower, with its 126MW Cassadaga project in Chautauqua County, upstate New York.

The winning projects must still negotiate off-take contracts with utilities and finalise their regulatory approvals.

Many major renewables players went home empty-handed, including NextEra Energy, EDP Renewables North America and Pattern Development – the latter having bid in its massive 600MW King Pine wind project in northern Maine.

The RFP’s result underscores the increasing competitiveness of solar across many regions of the US, and the sector’s growing threat to wind.

In addition to the rapid decline in the price of PV modules, developers say it’s easier to cost-efficiently build small- and medium-sized PV plants than wind farms – allowing solar companies to more easily work around transmission and interconnection constraints.

“If I look at the northern part of the country, interconnection capacity and transmission capacity are significant limiting factors for wind,” Gabriel Alonso, chief executive of EDP Renewables North America, said earlier this month at an industry conference.

“There are some advantages for solar even in what I’d primarily consider wind markets … because of the smaller pockets of interconnection and transmission capacity [solar developers] can take advantage of.”

Many of the large wind projects rejected in the RFP would have required huge new transmission lines to get their power to market, including Pattern Development’s King Pine and EDP Renewables’ Number Nine developments, both located in northern Maine.

Developers that did not secure capacity in the three-state RFP will now turn their focus to other potential opportunities – most notably Massachusetts’ recent renewables mandate, which calls for large-scale imports of renewable power from the northeastern US and Canada in addition to its offshore wind carve-out.

Mike Garland, chief executive of Pattern Development and its publicly listed yieldco Pattern Energy, told local media that he expects to find another buyer for King Pine’s future output.

“We acquired the development rights to this project from SunEdison not because we expected to win the RFP bid, but because we see King Pine wind as an excellent asset in a great location,” Garland was quoted by the Portland Press Herald as saying.

“We believe King Pine will be a unique asset in the northeast that will have plenty of opportunities for selling its power,” Garland said.

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Ranger Solar advances its 50MW solar project at Sanford airport

From: MaineBiz Magazine

By James McCarthy

October 21, 2016

Sanford City Council on Tuesday approved an updated lease agreement for 390 acres of city-owned property at Sanford-Seacoast Regional Airport on which Ranger Solar of Yarmouth plans to develop a utility-scale solar project that would be one of the largest in Maine and one of only 25 similar solar projects at airports in the United States.

The Sanford project, which will be built in phases, is expected to provide up to 50 megawatts of energy and enough electricity to power up to 20,000 homes. Phase 1 is slated to begin in late 2017 at the earliest and when completed will provide between $60 million and $80 million of new taxable property. It will create approximately 94 construction jobs and up 10 full-time positions, according to Aaron Svedlow, director of environmental permitting for Ranger Solar.

“The cost of solar is really dropping dramatically, to the point where it is competitive not only with all forms of renewable energy but also with traditional sources of energy,” Svedlow told Mainebiz in a telephone interview Friday morning.

With the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth, Mass., scheduled to close in 2019 — coupled with recent or planned closures of several older oil- or coal-fired plants in Massachusetts — Svedlow says there is a pressing need for additional power in the region, especially from renewable energy sources that enable the New England states to achieve ambitious clean energy goals.

“We think solar is the best source of that renewable clean energy,” he said. “The environmental and permitting issues are not as great as they are with some of the other renewable energy sources.”

Svedlow said the Sanford solar project is about half the size of the 100MW solar project the company announced earlier this month for the Loring Commerce Centre business park in Limestone. The Limestone project calls for 100,000 solar panels, which would sit on 600 acres of land at the former Loring Air Force Base and is expected to provide enough electricity to power between 20,000 and 30,000 homes.

Private-public partnership with Sanford

Sanford City Manager Steven Buck told Mainebiz in a telephone interview Ranger Solar’s project will provide significant economic benefits to Sanford taxpayers, including new tax revenues estimated at $2 million per year when the project is completed. It also creates the potential for using tax increment financing with associated power purchase agreements that he said could lower energy costs to spur local business growth and attraction.

“We’ve been working four years on this,” Buck said, explaining that the city’s 2014 update of the airport’s master plan was a key milestone that advanced the project from the concept stage to its present status of seeking environmental permits and regulatory approval. The master plan accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Maine Department of Transportation identified the land leased to Ranger Solar as suitable for “non-aeronautical development,” he said.

“It will become a profit center for the airport,” Buck said, noting that Ranger Solar’s lease calls for a $273,000 yearly payment to the airport for the first five years, increasing every five years after that. “The airport will no longer need property tax support to cover its operating expenses.”

A term sheet for the project identifies another benefit to the airport: “As part of the lease agreement, Ranger Solar will fence the airport, allowing the airport to maintain a high level of safety and security.”

Svedlow said when the Sanford project is completed it will be “larger than most [utility scale] airport solar projects in the United States.”

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Ranger Solar Is Winning Support for 100-Acre Arrays

From Seven Days Vermont

August 31, 2016

By Katie Jickling

A Maine-based company appears to have found a formula to win local backing for often controversial solar-energy projects: careful siting, a dose of patience and a willingness to alter plans to overcome objections.

Ranger Solar's ability to earn selectboard approval is particularly noteworthy given the size of its projects. While proposals for much smaller solar installations have encountered fierce local resistance around Vermont, Ranger Solar has won outright support in three towns for arrays that average 100 acres apiece.

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This region can lead in making energy affordable, clean, by Jim Beard

From The Keene Sentinel

August 6, 2016

by Jim Beard

I have spent the past several months going door to door, talking with New Hampshire voters throughout state Senate District 8. As a Republican candidate for this seat, I have discussed my vision to bolster vocational training, lower business taxes, develop a smart energy plan and address the opioid crisis. Listening to my fellow Granite Staters, one thing is clear — a united desire to keep New Hampshire’s high standard of living intact for future generations.

In order to strike the right balance — to maintain our quality of life — I believe our state needs a real energy plan. We need to find responsible energy projects that respect our property rights, preserve our brilliant environment and also help to lower the cost of energy for our citizens and businesses. This is an area where I feel our region is uniquely positioned to serve as a model for the entire state and I can’t help but have an optimistic view of New Hampshire’s energy future based on what is occurring right here, right now in the greater Monadnock Region...

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Ranger Solar Proposes Large, Utility-Scale Solar Project in Farmington

From The Portland Press Herald

July 13, 2016

By Lauren Abbate

FARMINGTON — A Yarmouth-based energy company is in the early stages of bringing a utility-scale solar farm to Farmington that could break ground in 2018 and eclipse the size of any solar installation now operating in Maine.

Ranger Solar is conducting environmental studies on undeveloped land on Farmington Falls Road with the hopes of creating a 50- to 80-megawatt solar farm, project manager Aaron Svedlow said...

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Solar Array Development Should Be Part Of Energy Puzzle

From The Keene Sentinel

May 27, 2016


As local opponents of fracked gas and oil — and of the continued use of fossil fuels in general — applaud the demise of the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project and fret about the prospect of the state allowing energy firms to charge ratepayers up-front for their construction costs, we again note the advisability of diversifying the type of energy generation in the region.

The regional power grid overseen by ISO New England now relies far too much on one type of energy: natural gas. It accounts for nearly half of the energy going into the grid. Despite this, because it’s relatively inexpensive and plentiful right now, power suppliers and those in charge of energy policy are encouraging large-scale infrastructure projects to provide more gas to the region...

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Massive Solar Array Pitched In Fitzwilliam

From The Keene Sentinel

May 23, 2016

By Meghan Foley

FITZWILLIAM — A solar array approximately 60- to 80-times more powerful than any currently in the state may be coming to hundreds of acres in Fitzwilliam.

Ranger Solar of Yarmouth, Maine, is proposing to install a 60- to 80-megawatt solar array in town that would far surpass power levels generated by existing solar power systems in New Hampshire. The company is looking to put the ground-mounted panels on land southeast of the intersection of Routes 12 and 119 between Scott Brook and the high-tension electrical lines. Representatives are also looking at a parcel to the west of Route 12 near No. 4 Road, according to a presentation the company gave at a meeting of the Fitzwilliam selectmen last month. All the land being considered is privately owned, they said, and they need 500 acres for the system...

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Council Oks lease for solar farm at airport

From Fosters

May 5, 2010

By Ellen W. Todd

SANFORD — The City Council has approved a lease agreement for a solar farm at the airport that would be the largest in the state, and one of the largest in New England, if all goes according to plan.

The agreement with Ranger Solar — doing business as Sanford Airport Solar, LLC, for the project — is for the lease of 226 acres of surplus land at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport to develop a utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) system...

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Plan For Maine’s Largest Solar Energy Farm Moves Ahead As Sanford Approves Lease

From The Portland Press Herald

May 4, 2016

By Peter McGuire

A Yarmouth-based company is moving forward with plans to build Maine’s largest solar energy farm on vacant land at Sanford’s municipal airport after winning key support from the city.

The Sanford City Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized City Manager Steven Buck to sign a lease allowing Ranger Solar to use 226 acres of city-owned airport land to build a 50-megawatt photovoltaic array. The utility-scale commercial project would generate power to be sold through the region’s electricity grid...

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Maine City Reaches Deal To Establish New England’s Largest Solar Farm

From The Bangor Daily News

May 4, 2016

By Tammy Wells

SANFORD, Maine — If all goes well, Ranger Solar will begin construction in 2018 on a 50-megawatt, utility-grade solar array designed to sell energy to the power grid.

The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to authorize City Manager Steve Buck to execute a land lease for 226 acres at Sanford Regional Airport to Ranger Solar LLC, which will do business locally as Sanford Solar LLC.

“This public-private partnership with Ranger Solar LLC is nothing short of phenomenal,” Buck told the council. He called the project a “very exciting and promising opportunity for development” at the 1,100- acre airport...

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Big Solar Projects Get Town Support

From Vermont Digger

April 10, 2016

By Mike Faher

Three proposed 20-megawatt solar projects have gained support from their host towns, but the biggest hurdle – state permitting – still lies ahead.

The Brandon Selectboard is the latest to back construction of a project proposed by Maine-based Ranger Solar LLC, passing a resolution March 28 that touts the array’s economic and renewable-energy benefits. Previously, the towns of Sheldon and Ludlow offered similar support...

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3 Selectboards Have Approved Solar Arrays That Would Be Largest In The State

From Vermont Public Radio

April 4, 2016

By Melody Bodette

The Brandon Select Board has voted to support the development of a 20-megawatt solar project in the town. The project is one of five solar arrays proposed by Ranger Solar.

The 20-megawatt arrays would be the largest built in Vermont. Adam Cohen, president of Ranger Solar, based in New York and Maine, said Brandon is the third select board to vote in favor of a large scale array...

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Brandon Selectboard Votes to Support 20-Megawatt ‘Davenport’ Solar Project

Ranger Solar Press Release

March 30, 2016

Project will generate clean, affordable energy for 5,000 homes, spur economic development and decrease regional carbon emissions

Brandon joins the towns of Ludlow and Sheldon in supporting Ranger Solar projects

Brandon, VT. – The Town of Brandon Selectboard voted Monday night to support a 20-megawatt solar project proposed by Ranger Solar.

The project, named Davenport Solar after the early 19th Century Brandon resident who invented the DC electric motor, will be located on lower Carver Street, a section of unpaved road within the Town of Brandon.

An analysis shows a similar 20-megawatt project would generate approximately 33,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of clean electricity, enough to power over 5,000 Vermont homes. The project could also create an estimated 245 job-years, $15 million in labor income and add more than $25 million to the state’s GDP over its first 20 years of operation.

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Developers Pitch Five, 240MW CT Clean Energy Projects

From The Hartford Business Journal

February 8, 2016

By Matt Pilon

Connecticut may soon source more of its clean energy from within its own borders, if newly proposed projects are successful in a unique and ongoing multi-state bidding process.

A joint procurement by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island — the first of its kind for the states — garnered 24 bids from developers and companies for solar, wind, fuel cell and hydro projects, including five offering power that would be generated in Connecticut.

"This is good news for Connecticut's ratepayers and signals the very real potential for us to deliver a cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy future for residents and businesses of our state," said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee, whose agency oversaw Connecticut's participation in the bidding process...

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Energy Companies Eye Enfield Land For Major Solar Installations

From The Journal Inquirer

February 10, 2016

By Howard French

ENFIELD — Two solar-energy companies are eyeing land here for major solar farms to produce clean energy for the state’s power grid.

Mayor Scott Kaupin said Tuesday, the town has been contacted by Southern Sky Renewable Energy of Boston and Ranger Solar, which is based in New York City with a major office in Maine.

Both proposals are very preliminary, Kaupin said. He added that proposals for a commercial project on farmland or other open space would have to get approval from the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission...

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Ranger Solar Projects Are Right For VT

From VT Digger

January 10, 2016

Guest Editorial from Ranger President, Adam Cohen

The sun provides a predictable energy supply without the price volatility, or emissions, of fossil fuels. The New England region has sufficient solar energy available to power more than 4 million homes. Tecological innovations have helped reduce the cost of solar energy by about 76 percent since 2006. And Vermonters believe in both clean energy and nurturing a stronger, more diverse economy. What’s more, Vermont needs more power, at an affordable price, for homes and businesses.

These are the reasons Ranger Solar has proposed to develop five 20-megawatt solar projects in Vermont...

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Ludlow Selectboard Votes Unanimously To Support 20- Megawatt Solar Project

Ranger Solar Press Release

December 23, 2015

Project will generate clean, affordable energy for 5,000 homes, spur economic development and decrease regional carbon emissions

Ludlow, VT – The Town of Ludlow Selectboard voted on Monday night to support a 20-megawatt solar project proposed by Ranger Solar. The vote was unanimous...

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Sheldon Selectboard Votes to Support 20-Megawatt Solar Project

Ranger Solar Press Release

December 16, 2015

Project will generate clean, affordable energy for 5,000 homes, spur economic development and decrease regional carbon emissions

Sheldon Springs, VT – The Town of Sheldon Selectboard has sent a letter to the Vermont Public Service Board expressing their unanimous support for a 20- megawatt solar project proposed by Ranger Solar...

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Ranger Solar Touts Economic Benefit Of Ludlow Project

From the Rutland Herald

December 1, 2015

By Susan Smallheer

LUDLOW — The developer of a proposed 20-megawatt solar facility in Ludlow said Monday the project would deliver lower-cost low-emission solar power to the entire state, as well as more local economic benefits in jobs and taxes.

Adam Cohen, of Ranger Solar, said a study by Synapse Energy Economics Inc. would be the economic bedrock for Ranger Solar’s application to the Public Service Board next month for a state permit to build the solar facility in Ludlow. Ranger Solar is calling its facility the Coolidge Solar Project, named in part for the Coolidge electric substation in Cavendish, owned by Vermont Electric Co. [...]

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Analysis Details Economic, Environmental Benefits of Ludlow Solar Project

Ranger Solar Press Release on Economic and Environmental Benefits Report for Coolidge Solar Project

November 30, 2015

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Economic Benefits of the Proposed Coolidge Solar I Solar Project

Report released by Synapse Energy Economics on the Benefits of the Proposed 20 MW Coolidge I Solar Project

November 9, 2015

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Winslow Ordinance Paves Way For Massive Solar Project

From the Kennebec Journal

October 14, 2015

By Peter McGuire

WINSLOW — Town councilors unanimously have approved regulations on utility-scale solar-electric projects, paving the way for possible construction of a huge commercial solar array in town.

In short order and with little discussion, councilors on Tuesday adopted an ordinance to regulate large-scale principal solar energy systems and three amendments to existing ordinances to cover rules for noise and decommissioning solar arrays and in what development zones commercial projects would be allowed...

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