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King, Pingree Announce $62 Million to Boost Maine Solar, Lower Energy Costs

Funded through the historic Inflation Reduction Act, this grant will help Maine develop long-lasting solar programs that enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from residential solar.

U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced that the Maine Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) was awarded $62,120,000 through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Solar for All grant competition to deliver solar programs to low-income and disadvantaged households in Maine. This award is part of the historic $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which was created under the Inflation Reduction Act, to lower energy costs for families, create good-quality jobs in communities that have been left behind, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis. King and Pingree wrote a letter of support for GEO’s solar project in October 2023.

“On Earth Day, it’s important to not only appreciate our planet and all it has to offer, but to reaffirm our commitment to protect our environment,” said King and Pingree. “This funding will allow the Maine Governor’s Energy Office to develop more affordable, reliable, and local energy, while also creating well-paying new jobs in Maine. This project builds on Maine’s strong track record of clean energy deployment by ensuring the benefits of solar and energy storage are accessible to those who stand to benefit the most while delivering cost savings on monthly electric bills.”

"All Maine people should have access to clean, affordable, reliable energy to power their homes and businesses, regardless of income level or home ownership status,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I welcome this funding from the EPA to help Maine establish a program to enable low-income communities across Maine to participate in and benefit from solar development in our state.” 

Maine's program (MESA) will use this funding for four financial assistance program channels that comprehensively address the range of barriers faced by low-income and disadvantaged households: single-family and multifamily on-site solar programs as well as targeted support for cooperatively-owned community solar. Energy storage is incorporated across all four channels to build resilience and maximize value. MESA also proposes a holistic range of technical assistance such as expanded workforce development opportunities, siting and permitting supports, and additional support to overcome barriers including interconnection challenges.

The Maine Governor's Energy Office is among 49 state-level awards EPA announced today totaling approximately $5.5 billion, along with six awards to serve Tribes totaling over $500 million, and five multistate awards totaling approximately $1 billion.

A complete list of the selected applicants can be found on EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All website.

“Today we’re delivering on President Biden’s promise that no community is left behind by investing $7 billion in solar energy projects for over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The selectees will advance solar energy initiatives across the country, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, saving $8 billion in energy costs for families, delivering cleaner air, and combating climate change.”

“Today, across the United States, we are celebrating more than just Earth Day; we are celebrating Solar for All—a significant step forward in our commitment to equitable energy access and environmental justice,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “Household utility bill savings, clean energy jobs, greenhouse gas reductions—that is what today’s announcement will mean to thousands of communities across New England and the country. Whether it’s installing community solar arrays to power manufactured housing in New Hampshire, heating affordable housing units in Connecticut, or supporting Tribal communities to participate in solar energy ownership without barriers—our selectees in each of our six New England states have developed residential solar projects that bring household savings and clean energy to communities that have been overburdened or disadvantaged for far too long.”

Pingree is ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the EPA.


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