A solar energy development bill sponsored by our own Democratic Senator Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic has become law.

 “For a decade lawmakers have worked together in a bipartisan manner to move Maine’s energy policy forward, and we continue to do so with this law,” said Democratic Senator Eloise VItelli of Arrowsic, the sponsor of the bill.

 Maine is the only state in New England without a solar incentive program. Senator Vitelli’s law directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission to take specific measures regarding solar energy, including monitoring and studying the development and value of distributed solar energy generation on ratepayers.  

 “Maine is one of the most oil-dependent states in the country. This law will give the people in our state an opportunity to do something about that,” Senator Vitelli added.  “It is one step toward getting Maine on track with the rest of the nation in developing plentiful and cost-effective energy for all customers.”

 Maine spends $5 billion per year importing fossil fuels andis the most petroleum-dependent state for home heating, with more than 70% of households using it as their primary heating source. According to a 2010 report, rooftop solar panels alone could provide 24% of Maine’s electricity.

 The law,LD 1652, “An Act to Support Solar Energy Development in Maine,” was unanimously enacted “under the hammer” in the Senate and enacted in a 103-39 vote in the House. It will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

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