For the better part of seven months, representatives from the utilities, the solar industry, municipalities and environmental advocates have worked with Maine’s Public Advocate to arrive at consensus on a responsible solar policy that benefits all of the people of Maine. The results of this effort is L.D. 1649, An Act to Modernize Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development.

After a public hearing, work sessions and intense negotiations, an amended version of the bill was presented to the Maine House and Senate for enactment.

Although the bill passed unanimously in the Senate and by a majority in the House, it is expected that the governor will veto L.D. 1649 and the House will need a two-thirds majority to override the veto.

The bill has broad bipartisan support and the governor’s appointed Public Advocate has determined that the bill will save Mainers at least $59 million in direct costs. Rep. Paul Chace, R-Durham, voted against it. In doing so, he cast a vote that puts the future of several of our areas small businesses and their employees at risk.

That being said, Chace has been responsive to our request to discuss the merits and facts of this bill. We commend his consideration of the facts of this complex solar policy bill, and appreciate his concern that any solar policy should ensure maximum benefit for ratepayers.

Chace has vowed to work right up to the moment of the veto override vote will be taken to determine if this policy will be fair to all rate payers.

Reach out to Chace and thank him for his efforts. Ask him to support L.D. 1649. An affirmative vote on L.D. 1649 would serve the people of our district well. In addition to reducing their electricity costs and increasing employment, this decision would allow businesses in our district to be more competitive with their out-of-state counterparts by removing the barriers that prevent them from installing solar to control operating costs.

We hope he will support the people of his district and the people of Maine by seeing this process to its natural conclusion – the passage of L.D. 1649 over the governor’s veto.

Sam Zuckerman

Owner

Maine Solar Solutions

Durham