Maine ski resort looks to solar to power operations

Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort Contracted Nexamp to build a 7.36 MW, 31-acre community solar park on its property in Rangeley, Maine.

Exploring options to bolster Saddleback’s economic and environmental profile, owner Arctaris Impact Investors identified solar development as a sensible way to improve its approach to powering the mountain. Saddleback led the development efforts, including site selection, licensing and securing an interconnection agreement with Central Maine Power.

“Saddleback has a long history in Maine as a family destination that has provided significant economic, employment, and recreational opportunities in western Maine,” said Jonathan Tower, founder and managing partner of Arctaris. “We are committed to positioning Saddleback for long-term sustainability, both economically and environmentally. With this project, Arctaris significantly advances both goals.”

Under Maine’s Net Energy Billing program enacted in 2019 by the Mills administration, the community solar park will generate clean energy that is fed directly into the Central Maine Power (CMP) grid, giving subscribers credit towards their annual electricity bills. to lower.

Saddleback becomes an anchor tenant for the commercial credits generated by the array. Other companies in the CMP area can register.

The land for the solar park comprises less than 1% of Saddleback’s property.

“As managers of a remarkable piece of real estate in western Maine, it was very important to us to harmonize this renewable energy project with the surrounding natural beauty,” said Tom Federle, Saddleback general counsel.

Construction of the solar farm is expected to begin in early 2022 and is on track to generate clean energy for the CMP grid by the start of the 2022-2023 ski season.

“The Saddleback project is representative of the very real benefits businesses will see from proactively addressing the climate challenge,” said John Murphy, senior VP of Corporate Development at Nexamp. “By pursuing this initiative, the resort is helping Maine achieve its ambitious renewable energy use and decarbonization goals, while controlling operating costs and generating meaningful revenues for additional capital improvements. We are excited to partner with the Arctaris team to help realize their vision for the Saddleback community.”

Arctaris, an Impact Investment group that bought Saddleback in 2020, is making significant improvements to the mountain and helping to reestablish the company as a major employer and destination in the region.

News item from Nexamp

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