As noted in a Feb. 8 article, Monmouth residents are preparing to vote on a potential moratorium which would apply retroactively to halt progress on a commercial solar project. Bath Iron Works recommends voting against the moratorium. BIW is contributing to Maine’s emerging clean energy economy through its commitment to purchase the output of six solar farms, including the Days Corner Solar Project on Ridge Road.

Monmouth is home to more than 40 proud BIW shipbuilders, and I would like to describe the importance of the proposed Days Corner Solar Project in Monmouth to both the company and its employees.

First, BIW supports the state’s clean energy goals and this solar project allows BIW to participate in that effort. Second, BIW competes with shipyards across the country in states with much lower electricity costs, putting us at a disadvantage. The cost savings from our contracts for solar energy put us on a more competitive footing. By lowering our costs, the Days Corner Solar Project improves BIW’s competitive position and helps secure the jobs of dozens of Monmouth residents who collectively earn more than $2 million in annual wages at the shipyard. The economic impact of BIW is real for the town of Monmouth and the shipbuilders who reside there.

Despite Monmouth voters enacting a new solar ordinance last summer, the Monmouth Select Board put a solar moratorium on the ballot for the March 9 special election. A vote to approve the solar moratorium would create a delay that could kill the project, depriving our company of much-needed savings and forgoing new employment opportunities as well as tax revenue for the Town.

Please join us in supporting Maine’s emerging clean energy economy and securing the jobs of local shipbuilders by voting no on Article 2 at the March 9 special election.

Jon A. Fitzgerald

vice president and general counsel

Bath Iron Works

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