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April 23, 2024

Maine gets $62M in federal funds for solar energy access in low-income communities

solar array Courtesy / PowerMarket The funding will help deliver affordable and accessible solar energy to low-income households in Maine.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded over $62 million to increase solar energy availability for low-income households in Maine and to reduce barriers for using solar energy across the state. 

The funding will help create a new statewide program, enabling low-income households and communities in the state to access rooftop and community solar and energy storage. The money is also expected to generate jobs and economic development opportunities in the growing clean energy industry. The award will be administered through the Maine Governor’s Energy Office.

The GEO plans to seek public input to shape the design of the program, expected by the end of the year.

“With funding from EPA, Maine will ensure the benefits of solar and energy storage are accessible to low-income homeowners and renters, who often face the highest energy burdens, by lowering barriers to solar adoption,” said Dan Burgess, director of GEO.

“By making solar more accessible, this new program can reduce energy costs, spur job growth and economic development in Maine’s fast-growing clean energy sector, and fight climate change.”

The EPA launched a $7 billion Solar For All competition in 2023 to help millions of Americans access solar energy. Maine's application was one of 60 projects awarded funding. The EPA estimates that 900,000 homes around the country will receive solar energy access as a result of the grant program. 

Maine’s application to Solar for All included incentives for residential rooftop solar and energy storage, technical and financial assistance for solar operations, and a new community solar and energy storage program. 

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