Solar farm to create renewable energy option

The planned solar farm in Presque Isle will serve as an asset to the airport, the city, and beyond.
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 10:09 AM EST
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Two parcels of land, on either end of the airport, will be converted to a solar farm beginning next spring. Kathy McCarty spoke with city officials and has more on how the project will benefit the airport, the Industrial Park and the city.

The city of Presque Isle is working with National Renewable Solutions, for the installation of two 3-megawatt facilities, which will be located to the north and south of the airport. Airport Director Scott Wardwell says the airport will benefit from leasing land to the project.

“A significant portion of the solar farm is actually on - on airport property, so we will actually be the recipient of - of some of the revenues from that,” says Scott Wardwell, Director of the Presque Isle International Airport.

While some of the income generated from the solar farm is destined for city coffers, Wardwell says some will remain with the airport, and used toward airport projects.

Wardwell says, “The FAA does require that any revenue generated on - on the airport property, that that revenue find its way back - back to the airport.”

The city plans to purchase power from the site, at a reduced rate, thus saving taxpayers money on the city’s overall costs for electricity for municipal use. Industrial Council Director Tom Powers says there’ll be advantages to non-municipal establishments throughout The County as well.

“They are able to offer what they call net metering to customers. This net metering is limited to like 10 or 12 customers, but they don’t have to be right - take power directly from the site. They can take it from anywhere. So it can help somebody up here on the Industrial Park. We can offer a lower cost to a large power user up here on the park, and hopefully that will entice others to look at the park. But the offering can also go out to some of the larger users in the Aroostook County area,” says Tom Powers, Director of the Presque Isle Industrial Council.

Powers says that could include anything from food processors to mills in the region. Ground is expected to be broken on the project sometime next spring. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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