AUGUSTA — A bill that aims to boost solar power development in Maine has gone into law without Gov. Paul LePage’s signature.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Eloise Vitelli directs the Public Utilities Commission to study the value of solar power generation in Maine. The measure also creates solar energy goals for the state, like ensuring that solar provides benefits to ratepayers and helps reduce Maine’s reliance on oil.

Environmental groups say that growing solar power in Maine will provide benefits not only for the environment, but also the economy through the creation of new jobs.

LePage recently vetoed another bill that would have restored a rebate program for solar panels because it would have increased electric bills for Mainers. The Democratic-controlled Legislature failed to override that veto earlier this month.

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