Town of Scarborough staff have rendered a map showing locations where utility-scale solar arrays may be developed if new language for the zoning ordinance is approved by the town council. Courtesy photo

SCARBOROUGH — After receiving Scarborough Ordinance Committee approval on Aug. 19, a new utility-scale solar ordinance will soon go in front of the Scarborough Town Council for a final vote.

The proposed language, drafted to fit within the town’s zoning ordinance, will dictate what and where developers and companies can build for utility solar.

The committee and town staff examined possible locations of large-scale utility solar developments in Scarborough.

Current drafted language would allow development in Scarborough’s Rural and Farming; Rural, Farming and Manufactured Housing; Industrial and Light Industrial zones, with a maximum height for solar arrays at 20 feet and in parcels no smaller than 25 acres, Town Planner Jay Chace said.

The majority of Rural and Farming and Rural, Farming and Manufactured Housing is located to the west of I-95, said Chace.

Ecomaine, the town’s waste management provider, has partnered with EDF Renewables to develop a municipal-scale solar array at a capped landfill, according to information in the Town Council’s Aug. 18 agenda.

There has been interest from developers in proposing utility-scale solar farms in multiple parcels, Chace said.

On Aug. 13, the Scarborough Sustainability Committee sent a memo in support of the drafted ordinance to the Ordinance Committee, asking that the draft be moved forward to the Town Council. The memo said that four other proposed developments exist.

“The sustainability committee is aware of four utility-scale solar developments proposed and one municipal-use solar development approved in Scarborough,” the memo said. “These projects help the town meet goals set forth in its Comprehensive Energy and Sustainability Plan, which was approved by the town council in 2017. Solar development also provides Scarborough landowners with revenue-generating opportunities that may slow the conversion of agricultural lands to house lots and promotes the development and use of clean, renewable energy.”

The Town Council must approve the measure in order for it to be adopted into the zoning ordinance.

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