Your leading article on June 24, under the heading “Forum fears sun setting on solar,” sounds rather glum. I beg to differ. Both the present and future for solar in Maine are just great.

In the present, my wife and I recently paid for solar panels sufficient to power our home in Winslow. Yes, we made a big investment. But with net metering from CMP we are figuring on a 12-year payback even if electric rates don’t rise. Because our home does not have a south-facing roof, and in any case is partly shaded, we installed our solar panels on a “tracker” located away from the house. It cost more, but the panels follow the sun from east to west during the day and so gain 45 percent more power than if they were stationary. Almost any home can do likewise.

For the future, the price of solar panels keeps falling, and the 30 percent federal tax break on installations continues. But why wait? Currently, in our area you can reduce your installation costs about 10 percent by registering with Solarize Mid-Maine. Your investment will beat averages on the stock market and comes without financial fees. Your electricity will be free after 12 years.

It is true that the Maine House failed to override the governor’s inexplicable veto of the Sslar bill, and the legislative issues seem very complicated, it is true.

But why would Colby College and Madison Electric figure that they should proceed with their large solar installations anyway? It’s because solar is a good investment. For them, for my home, and potentially for you too.

Peter Garrett


Sustain Mid Maine Coalition board


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