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September 30, 2016

Farmers' Almanac predicts big savings with expansive solar array

Courtesy/ Geiger Group, Harriman
Courtesy/ Geiger Group, Harriman
A rendering of the 620 ground-mounted panels that is expected to provide 90% of the needed energy for the new facility.

Farmers' Almanac publisher Geiger Group is investing $12 million to convert its former manufacturing space in Lewiston into a 105,000-square-foot office and distribution space, which will be primarily powered by a 620-panel solar installation, one of the largest private solar arrays in the state.

When completed next year, the expanded space will be home to the company's 225 employees and provide enough space to accommodate 25 to 50 new workers Geiger says it plans to hire over the next three to five years.

"We could be based anywhere in the United States, but we have been a proud citizen of Lewiston-Auburn, trying our best to make this a better place for over the past 61 years," CEO Gene Geiger said in a prepared statement announcing the project.

The company is working with a number of local firms on the project, including the Auburn-based architectural firm Harriman and the Lewiston-based Hebert Construction.

Portland-based ReVision Energy will be installing the ground-mounted solar panels that are expected to provide as much as 90% of the energy needs of the new offices and eliminate more than 8 million pounds of carbon pollution over the 40-year useful lifespan of the solar array, according to Geiger.

Geiger says that the facility will be certified at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's "gold" level and will qualify as a Maine Advanced Building.

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