The solar farm in Woolwich. (Nathan Strout / The Times Record)

WOOLWICH — The Woolwich solar farm performed slightly below expectations in its first year, but town and company officials think it will do better in the coming year with some minor adjustments.

The solar farm, which went online on December 28, 2017, produced about 28,000 kWh in its first year — slightly less than the 30,000 kWh that was predicted.

Woolwich Select Board member and State Rep. Allison Hepler, D-Arrowsic, said that shade from four maple trees located near the solar farm hindered some of the panels. The town is looking into cutting those trees down to ensure that all of the panels get the maximum amount of sunlight.

The solar farm is located at the former town landfill along Route 127.

Voters approved of the solar farm in 2017 in an agreement that has the town renting an array of solar panels from ReVision Energy for six years with an option for the town to purchase them at a discount in the seventh year. Under the agreement, ReVision Energy installed the $80,000 solar array at no cost to the town.

The purpose of the solar array is to offset the electricity used by town-owned buildings, a goal that Hepler said the solar farm met in its first year. Already, the solar farm has offset 14.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

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Hepler noted that the town did run into some trouble receiving credits from Central Maine Power for the electricity generated from the solar farm in the first year. It turned out the problem was that the CMP meter at the site was not working correctly. Hepler said the problem had been addressed and that the town would be receiving the credits for the power generated over the past year.

“Overall, I am thrilled that … it is working as we expected and hoped it would, and … ReVision has continued to support us and troubleshoot our issues with CMP,” Hepler said in an email.

She added that if any municipalities were interested in installing their own solar array, she’d be happy to walk them through Woolwich’s process.

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