MILO — The $26 million solar farm in Milo has been in the works several years. The project should be completed early next year.
Five years ago, the East Piscataquis Industrial Park was a potato farm and the town of Milo was thinking about building an industrial park.
As of now, the 80-acre site will have 67,000 solar panels to produce enough energy for 10,000 homes.
“It was destined to be so it’s a great thing for the town. Obviously, great electricity and a great occupant for the town of Milo,” said Peter Hamlin, chairman of the town’s select board.
BNRG Renewables of Maine and Dirigo Solar partnered to purchase the $26 million project in December of last year.
According to the principal investor and developer of Dirigo Solar, the solar plant will sell power to Versant, which will benefit homeowners and ratepayers.
“What’s unique about this project is that we are generating power locally by a local company and we are selling it to local folks at a price that is vastly cheaper than what they can get by purchasing the power through standard offer,” said Bob Cleaves, Dirigo Solar principal investor and developer.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to become unemployed; however, Cleaves said the construction process created many job opportunities for laid-off workers.
Cleaves said the company currently has eight projects in the works.
“These are good high quality paying jobs. This is just one of eight projects that we have going on in the state of Maine. We are in the final days of construction at Fairfield, Oxford, Augusta and four more in the upcoming year,” said Cleaves.
Cleaves said the solar farm will soon flip the switch when it’s completed during the first quarter of 2021.