The Maine House has enacted a bill from Rep. Jennifer DeChant, D-Bath, to make it easier for community renewable energy projects to get through the approval process.

In 2010, the Legislature authorized a pilot program to get more locally run energy projects using renewable energy up and running.  This program has had problems, however, and resulted in a logjam in the permitting process.  As a result only 2 projects have been approved since the pilot project began.

“Through bipartisan compromise and hard work, we were able to reach an agreement on how to best address this flawed pilot program so that it can actually achieve its goal,” said DeChant, who serves on the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.  “This bill is about small projects, not big business.”

The measure, LD 1310, instructs the Public Utilities Commission to review projects that have languished and remove those with little chance of reaching completion to make room for other community renewable projects that are more feasible.

DeChant is serving her second term in the Maine House and represents the city of Bath.

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