South Portland council approves solar farm

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The City Council on Wednesday approved a solar farm on Highland Avenue.

The council voted to hire ReVision SunFill to install a photovoltaic array at the city’s capped landfill at 929 Highland Ave. 

In other business, councilors also approved a zoning amendment to allow more residents and businesses to use solar panels.

They also decided not to pay for an economic feasibility study for the Portland Street Pier, and have tentatively scheduled a workshop on the matter at their next meeting.

The solar array farm is a joint project with the city of Portland; each city will be installing solar arrays.

Interim City Manager Don Gerrish said South Portland has a limited amount of time to set up and get the solar farm running. Gerrish said it must be complete by the end of the year.

Mayor Patti Smith said, “We are here to support solar,” and, as a community “we embrace solar, whether it is on our land, on our houses or in waste fields.”

Councilor Eben Rose said he looks forward to when the solar array becomes more of a prominent feature in the city’s landscape. 

The amendment to the city’s zoning will increase the amount of solar energy that residents and businesses can use, allowing for more widespread use of solar panels.

Councilor Linda Cohen is encouraging  people to take advantage of the new zoning amendment, and said people should install solar power where ever they can. She said there are a lot of tax credits out there for residents to access.

“This is a good thing. We have to find other ways to heat our homes and provide energy,” Cohen said.  “There is a heck of a lot of sun out there.”

“I highly encourage you to investigate putting panels on your own roof”

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or Follow her on Twitter@melaniesochan.