Tens of thousands of Mainers are about to benefit greatly from the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Gov. Mills and Sen. Angus King have led the effort to bring a robust clean energy economy to Maine and, with it, related economic and environmental benefits.

The legislation couldn’t come at a better time. American families are enduring record inflation and the worsening effects of climate change, both of which disproportionately affect America’s most vulnerable communities. The act stabilizes energy costs and lowers electricity bills for American families and businesses, bringing much-needed relief as prices continue to increase.

It also compliments important recent action taken by the state of Maine, such as the Maine Climate Jobs bill and the integrated grid planning law, to expand renewable energy in Maine and provide living-wage jobs for Mainers working in renewable energy. These new laws will leverage the success of Maine’s community solar program, which has already delivered around 300 megawatts of new, clean generation. Maine has laid the groundwork to benefit significantly from the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions.

Our company, Nautilus Solar Energy, has been a pioneer in solar energy since 2006. With an office in York, we strive to make solar energy available and affordable to everyone with our community solar initiative. This includes making solar accessible to low- to moderate-income households and small businesses  that wish to reduce their carbon footprint and utility bills. With the passage of this essential bill, our company is eager to get to work and increase our investment in Maine. Coupled with the launch of Maine’s permanent community solar program, the new legislation will be an economic and environmental boon for Maine.

The legislation has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of quality, well-paid renewable energy jobs and will provide business opportunities in the communities we serve. In addition, it brings new investments to the state and ensures equitable growth in every ZIP code across the country. Finally, it makes our economy and communities more resilient by investing in one of our most reliable natural resources: the sun.

Climate change is a real threat to our world, and the Inflation Reduction Act is the largest investment in U.S. history to tackle this challenge. The solar investment tax credit is currently the most effective policy for deploying the clean energy we need. The addition of interconnection costs to the tax basis for the tax credit will help drive construction of solar projects under 5MW, building long-term certainty for companies to invest in community solar development.

Maine’s current net energy billing program allows customers to benefit from clean energy savings by offsetting their electrical bills with either owned or shared energy projects, like community solar. This, in turn, spurs further development of these assets within the state. Net energy billing has become critical in establishing a healthy and growing community solar market in Maine.

The solar industry set a goal for solar to account for 30 percent of all U.S. electricity generation by 2030. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act makes that goal a reality. Thanks to the work from thousands of clean-energy advocates and champions in Congress, this bill takes bold action, putting workers and communities first.

For Maine’s future, for our energy independence and for our own wallets, the answer is clear: The passage of this historic act will create new and prosperous jobs for Mainers, tackle climate change and build an industry that will establish our home as a national and international leader in energy. We’re ready. Let’s get going.

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