Document Type

Policy Brief

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Solar energy production accounts for less than one percent of energy produced in Maine, but nonetheless, the number of agricultural solar projects in the state is growing (ix, xi). While Maine currently lacks policies that encourage solar installations, such as tax credits and rebates, the next state administration could implement such policies, further resulting in an increase in the number of solar projects. The installation of commercial-scale solar projects is particularly attractive to farmers as it offers diversified income that protects against the unpredictable nature of farming. The Maine Legislature should consider adopting policies around the use of large-scale solar farms on agricultural lands before the installation of solar projects threatens the use of farmland for food production. The stringency of these regulations should consider the economic realities of farming in Maine while preventing the loss of farmland to solar energy production.

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