“Here comes the sun…. and I say it’s all right” crooned the Beatles in their 1969 hit song. Four decades later, we’re realizing that the sun’s energy, or solar power, can indeed be just the ticket we need to bring clean, pollution-free, renewable energy to Maine’s power mix.

The beauty of converting the sun’s energy into hot water and electricity is that solar energy does not need to be drilled or mined for; it is available to homeowners and businesses year round; and it can be harvested locally rather than imported. Unlike other sources of energy, solar power is not noisy, smelly or toxic; it is not a finite resource; it does not need to be imported; and it is not under the control of large energy corporations.

The energy committee in Augusta is currently working on L.D. 1652, the Maine Solar Energy Act. The bill’s purpose is to encourage greater development of solar power in Maine, which lags behind its New England neighbors in solar power production. L.D. 1652 does this by creating a vision and a set of policies that will increase the ability of Maine people to generate their own power, home by home, business by business.

The rooftop of my home is graced by the presence of solar thermal and photoelectric panels. They produce hot water and electricity year round, even on bitterly cold winter days. I hope Maine’s Legislature will join me in supporting L.D. 1652 to increase the number of people who can take advantage of solar power, to the benefit of all Mainers.

Rebecca StanleyMonmouth