FORT KENT, Maine — SunVest Solar, LLC, a Community Solar Developer headquartered in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, has contributed $5,400 to support SAD 27’s Arts Boosters Club. This gift was part of an offer extended to the school district for participation in one of three Community Solar Gardens currently being developed by SunVest within the Versant Maine Public utility district.
As a participant in one of these projects, SAD 27 will receive monetary solar credits resulting from the electricity that is produced on its behalf. These solar credits will be purchased at discounted rates and will offset the district’s electricity spend, helping SAD 27 reduce its annual electricity costs by nearly 20 percent. This program is made possible by the 2019 legislative expansion of Maine’s Net Energy Billing Program, which has resulted in significant capital investment in the modernization of Maine’s electric grid through expansion of distributed renewable energy-generating facilities.
Ted Rioux, a 1991 CHS and 1996 UMFK graduate who grew up in St. Francis, helped to facilitate this agreement between SAD 27 and SunVest. Rioux, who has been involved with Maine’s effort to expand distributed generation capabilities following the 2019 expansion of NEB, is working to help other St. John Valley organizations enter into subscription agreements with SunVest.
Rioux’s objective is to “identify and partner with Solar Developers sensitive to the need to build equity into the program by making it accessible to businesses, institutions and non-profits of all sizes.” Rioux adds, “SunVest’s willingness to make investments in the communities they serve, coupled with their reputation in the solar industry as a top tier developer (A+ BBB rating, 2021 Top 10 US Solar Developer), place them in a special category. I am pleased to be in a position to help facilitate these partnerships.”
In addition to SAD 27, subscribers to SunVest’s projects include: Town of Fort Kent, Acadia FCU, Paradis Shop ‘n Save Supermarkets, Valley Cedar Products, Fort Kent Power Sports, and Lonesome Pine Trails. SunVest also contributed $2,700 to Acadia FCU’s fundraising efforts to help support local food assistance programs and will be making a $1,200 contribution towards the payoff of Lonesome Pine’s new groomer loan.