An inspector monitors solar panels Thursday at a solar farm off Roderick Road in Winslow. The site is one of three solar projects in Winslow either under construction or in the approval process. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WINSLOW — The Planning Board this week unanimously approved a 4.1-megawatt solar installation off Cushman Road that is expected to generate enough energy to power approximately 1,050 homes.

This is the second large-scale solar farm the town approved and will encompass more than 28 acres of land.

The energy from the Cushman Road project will be fed back into the power grid managed by Central Maine Power Co. and sold to a large Maine business.

Brooke Barnes with Stantec Consulting Services, an engineering firm representing the solar farm applicant, said the project will be a fixed-tilt system “so the panels will not move with the sun, but remain where they are.” The system will include more than 14,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels that will stand no more than 10 feet high.


Barnes said Wednesday that the applicant, Portland-based Maine DG Holdco LLC, is leasing or purchasing four different plots from landowners on which to install the solar array.


The power that’s generated will be sold to a predetermined Maine business, Barnes said. Solar investors generally do not disclose exactly who will be purchasing the power, he said.

As part of the project a new access road will be added off Cushman, underground electrical collector lines will be installed and an overhead electrical line will connect the solar array to the CMP grid.

Barnes said at a Planning Board meeting Monday permits for wetland impacts and stormwater management will need to be obtained from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The application for the project says construction will begin in May or June and power will start to be generated in January 2023.

Winslow officials in late 2019 approved another large-scale solar project — a 9.8-megawatt array covering more than 30 acres off Roderick Road. That project is now under construction.

Bob Cleaves, of Portland-based Dirigo Solar LLC, said Wednesday that the project is one of eight the company has been contracted to install by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to deliver renewable energy to the power grid.


He said it’s expected to be completed within the next few months and will generate enough energy to power a couple thousand Maine homes.

Town law requires that large solar farms only be allowed in low-density residential, rural and industrial zoning districts.

At the Monday meeting, outgoing Code Enforcement Officer Adam Bradstreet read a letter from an abutter to the Cushman Road project who was concerned the town did not thoroughly follow through on the due diligence specified by the ordinance, which was adopted in 2015.

Solar arrays line a field Thursday at a solar farm off Roderick Road in Winslow. The field is being monitored by an on-site inspector. The site is one of three solar projects in Winslow either under construction or in the approval process. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The person said in his letter that he wants to make sure the Planning Board holds Maine DG Holdco responsible for the decommissioning plan for the array, which was included in the application.

Winslow’s ordinance requires solar projects to conform to industry design and construction standards, be screened from public view and be enclosed by a chain-link fence. Power and utility lines must be buried underground as much as possible and a maintenance and operation plan has to be filed with the town.

There is a $1,500 application fee and permits cost $500 per megawatt of power that’s generated. Solar installations have to comply with the same noise and decommissioning rules commercial wind facilities do.

Also Monday, the board approved holding a joint public hearing with the Town Council for another solar farm applicant, NextGrid Inc., which has requested a zoning change to install a large system off Roderick Road in Winslow’s mixed-use district. By ordinance, solar projects are not permitted in this district.

It would be the town’s third solar installation.

The public hearing will be held during the Town Council meeting in council chambers at 114 Benton Ave. at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.