Construction on a solar array similar to this one in Ludlow, Vermont, is expected to be under construction next month on 420 acres of city-owned land at Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport. Project Manager Liz Peyton, shown here at the Ludlow site, said the project will generate 50 megawatts of power. Wanzek, the general contractor, is hosting a job fair at York County CareerCenter in Springvale on Wednesday. COURTESY PHOTO/NextEra Energy

SANFORD – Wanzek is looking for electricians, equipment operators and others to work on the NextEra solar project at Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport and will host a job fair on Wednesday at the York County CareerCenter on Bodwell Court in Springvale.

NextEra is building a 50 megawatt solar array at the airport on about 250 of the 420 acres the company is leasing from the city at the airport.  More than 150,000 solar panels will be installed at the site.

Work on the $64 million solar project is expected to begin early next month.

Wanzek, the general contractor, is hosting the job fair at the York County Career Center from 10 a.m. to noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The marketing manager of the Fargo, North Dakota-based contractor, who did not want to be named, said the company is looking for 25 to 40 workers for the fall start-up. The ramp up for full construction is expected to take place in the spring, she said.

Those interested are asked to fill out the application form, which can be found online at www.wanzek.com/careers before the job fair.

“Wanzek is excited to be working on this project to bring jobs and renewable energy to the Northeast,” said Rob Wanless, Director of Solar Business Development for Wanzek Construction, in a statement.

Advertisement

NextEra project manager Liz Peyton in August said the company hopes to to connect to the grid in October 2020, and go online the following month.

The city will realize revenues from land leases and property and other taxes.

City Manager Steve Buck in a recent report to the Sanford City Council said the state Department of Community and Economic Development recently approved a Tax Increment Financing plan that will allow the city to shelter tax revenue from the property and use the funds to help support a number of airport projects and more.

Buck has previously pointed out that if the project went ahead without a TIF,
the city would lose about 50 cents for every revenue dollar realized, because of decreases in education subsidy and revenue sharing and increased county taxes that would ensue.

Under terms of the TIF agreement, the city would retain $500,000 a year in property taxes, or $10 million over 20 years.

Proceeds from the TIF are expected to fund bond debt at a snow removal facility at Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport; a portion of debt service for future fire stations; the economic development program; and infrastructure at the airport including water, sewer broadband and electricity within the TIF district.

The city is also expected to separately realize $200,000 annually in airport land lease revenues and a maintenance contract for plowing and mowing.

The energy produced is already under contract. The project was chosen through a competitive bid in 2017, and is designed to provide power in parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: