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Updated: January 9, 2023

2023 Forecast: Renewable energy sees surge in incentives, but inflation and higher interest rates affect sales

Photo / Jim Neuger Phil Coupe with his new Ford F150 Lightning, an electric pickup.

Phil Coupe, the co-founder of ReVision Energy, says Maine’s renewable energy industry has benefited from four years of steady leadership by the Mills administration.

The state’s ambitious decarbonization plan and associated clean energy incentives, combined with the federal Inflation Reduction Act, should lead to continued industry growth in Maine in 2023 and beyond.

“Every year, Mainers export $4 billion from the local economy to import polluting, finite fossil fuels from away,” Coupe says. “Every time we invest in local renewable energy projects, we keep our energy dollars in the local economy, thereby supporting good jobs, enhancing our energy independence, and reducing air pollution.”

ReVision Energy, which is based in South Portland, was founded in 2003 to help northern New England transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a sustainable renewable energy-based economy. Over the past 20 years, it has grown from a small location in midcoast Maine to five branches in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

“To date, we have installed more than 15,000 projects, including roof and ground-mounted solar arrays, heat pumps, battery storage systems, and a rapidly growing network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the region,” said Coupe. “In 2015, ReVision became a certified B Corp, and in 2017 we converted to  100% employee ownership. Today we have roughly 400 co-owners working out of our five locations and have been named the No. 1 solar company in New England by Solar Power Industry magazine.”

Coupe said that the company is considering expanding its region southward but has no immediate plans. The company has five locations in northern New England, all in a high growth mode.

“We are growing like gangbusters to meet the unprecedented demand for solar energy, battery storage, heat pumps, and electric vehicle charging stations,” he says.

But Coupe says the company is not immune to the effects of the overall economy.

“High-interest rates, combined with increased costs of goods and labor, are challenging for every business, and those in the renewable energy sector are not immune,” he says. “Fortunately, solar delivers such a powerful economic and environmental return on investment.”

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