Maine has a unique opportunity this legislative session — to support a growing industry while also saving ratepayers money. This sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

The comprehensive solar bill, L.D. 1649, represents months of good policy work. This bill is a path forward supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, Maine’s utility companies, solar companies, the Maine Municipal Association, the Maine Public Advocate, local businesses, environmental groups and community leaders.

The benefits of this bill are simple: it would support a growing industry by saving quality jobs and adding more than 800 new ones, develop innovative markets for community, grid-scale, industrial/commercial and residential solar projects, and save Maine ratepayers $5 million-$15 million per year.

Lawmakers in Augusta have a choice: line up with the governor’s anti-solar ideology and risk hundreds of jobs in our already fragile solar industry, or follow a diverse group of stakeholders on a path forward that would benefit Maine’s economy, environment and energy costs.

I hope my representatives in Augusta, Sen. Rod Whittemore, R-Skowhegan, and Rep. Gary Hilliard, R-Belgrade, will support L.D. 1649.

Peter Roderick