Portland Highlighted for Solar Progress in New Report

Media Contacts
Jacqueline Guyol

Environment Maine

The City of Portland ranks 32nd for solar energy in a new report, landing it among the nation’s leaders for installing clean energy from the sun.

The report, Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, shows that the top 20 solar cities, comprising just 0.1 percent of the country’s land mass, account for 4 percent of U.S. solar capacity.

“Cities like Portland are leading the way to a future powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Jacqueline Guyol, campaign organizer with Environment Maine. “By tapping into more of  our vast solar energy potential, we can benefit from cleaner air and fight climate change.”

Portland ranked in front of Manchester, NH and just behind Seattle for megawatts of solar energy (per capita) as of year-end 2017.

“I am very proud that Portland is leading the way in the state of Maine for solar energy and one of my goals from when I was elected is to have 25% of Portland homes and businesses utilizing solar in some capacity within 10 years and we are well on our way.  We have a lot of work to do and I look forward to continuing that work,” said Mayor Ethan Strimling.

Seth Berry, House Chair and member of Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, utilities and Technology said, “Solar energy is one of the best ways we can bring jobs, carbon savings, and ratepayer savings to Maine.  It literally puts power in the hands of Maine people.”

“Distributed solar plays a crucial role in advancing Maine’s clean energy future.  Portland is truly a Shining City, and it’s time to redouble our efforts statewide to advance Maine’s energy independence, lower energy costs for residents and businesses, and meet critical emissions reduction targets by 2030,” said Kathleen Meil, Policy Advocate at Acadia Center, a Maine-based regional non-profit working to build clean, competitive, environmentally sustainable economies across the Northeast.  

Kathleen added, “Earlier this week, the Maine Senate took steps toward these goals by overriding the governor’s veto of LD 1444, and the House will vote soon.  By rejecting gross metering and removing barriers to community solar, this legislation expands the ability of Mainers to come together, to invest in clean energy whether they can site it on their own property or not, and take control of their energy use and costs.”

“We are in a moment when progress on renewable energy will come from cities across the country,” said Guyol with Environment Maine. “More local leaders should step up and start plugging their communities into the clean and virtually limitless power of the sun.”

Shining Cities is the fifth annual report from Environment Maine Research & Policy Center. Each year, the survey ranks nearly 70 of the nation’s major cities by megawatts of solar energy.

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