Nautilus Solar turns Maine sand quarry into community PV project


Nautilus Solar Energy, an owner-operator of solar projects in the United States, marked the opening of a 7 MW community solar farm in North Berwick, Maine. Built on a former sand pit, this project represents the transformation of endangered land into a productive source of clean energy, local jobs and economic growth for the local community.

Credit: Nautilus Solar Energy

35 percent of the development of the community solar farm was provided by local skilled workers in construction, engineering and electrical engineering. An additional 20 to 25 full-time positions have been created for current electrical and site vegetation management staff.

“We are excited to celebrate the opening of this unique community solar farm in North Berwick,” said Eric Lamora, CEO of Nautilus Community Solar. “By reactivating a former sand mine, we have achieved much more than clean energy production. This program serves as a prime example of its potential to unlock local job opportunities and spur economic growth. We are proud to contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for the entire community.”

Endurance Clean Energy developed this community solar project. In 2021, Nautilus acquired the Quarry Community Solar Farm from Endurance, along with three other projects totaling 25.4 MWDC. Nautilus is a long-term community solar farm owner and operator responsible for project management, asset management, maintenance services and customer acquisition.

“Our team worked diligently with the quarry owner-operator, the city and the state to properly manage the land use transition from sand to solar. We are thrilled to see that effort come to fruition today,” said Michael Lucini, president of Endurance Clean Energy. “In the past, this site has contributed to the building of Maine for many years. Now it will contribute to the sustainable power of Maine for many years to come.”

The newly opened community solar farm provides clean energy to 66 commercial customers in the Central Maine Power utility area and has an annual output of 10 million kWh.

A community solar project that qualifies under the Maine Net Energy Billing Commercial program allows customers to lower their monthly utility bills as well as their carbon footprint. It enables residents and businesses throughout Maine who have previously faced barriers to accessing or affording solar energy to participate in a community solar program. Through this initiative, residents can save 15% on their monthly utility bills without the need for complicated and expensive roof installations.

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