The Spraque River and salt marsh visible from Morse Mountain in Phippsburg, close to where the 5.4 acre Giri Sebasco solar array has been proposed. Robert F. Bukaty / AP file photo

Curtis Henderson, a longtime Phippsburg resident, thinks Giri Sebasco Solar could have chosen a better spot to put a solar array.

Giri Hotels, a Massachusetts-based hotel management firm, acquired the Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg last May. Now Giri hopes to build a solar array on the nearly 400-acre property spanned by the coastal retreat, but the proposal is meeting resistance from some residents.

The 5.4-acre array is projected to produce about 2 million kilowatts each year, roughly enough to power 200 homes. Giri Hotels doesn’t have the data yet on how long it would take to build, but it estimates the project would cost about $2 million.

The land housing the array, which would have to be clear-cut to make way for the panels, is a popular hiking spot among locals. The array would be near Robinson’s Rock, which looks out over Popham Beach and open water.

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful piece of property,” Henderson said.

“No one is against solar power, we all realize it’s the future and most of us have panels on our roofs,” he said after a meeting at Town Hall last week where Giri Sebasco Solar presented the project to the public. “People were just really upset that (the panels) were going to be there.”


Tom Federle, an attorney for Giri Sebasco Solar who spoke at the meeting, sees it differently.

“Giri Sebasco Solar is working to site a solar energy project in Phippsburg that meets the state’s climate goals while creating little or no visual impact in the area,” he said.

Giri said that power generated by the array that is not used by the resort will be sold back to the grid. But Ross McLellan, town administrator in Phippsburg, said he remains hopeful about “the continued interest that Giri Sebasco Solar LLC has displayed in informing the public of the details of the proposed project and their interest and attention to the concerns of the public regarding the potential impacts of this project.”

The Phippsburg Planning Board will review this project at their meeting on Nov. 14. The meeting will be held at the elementary school, as the Planning Board is anticipating a larger crowd than Town Hall can accommodate.

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