FRANKLIN — Downeast Community Partners (DCP) is switching to solar.
The organization recently installed an array of solar panels in Franklin that will power its facilities from Calais to Ellsworth. The juice is expected to start flowing within a week.
“It was something we started working on a couple of years ago,” said DCP Executive Director Mark Green. “The original plan was to just put a small array on the roof of our office on the Bucksport Road [in Ellsworth]. But after working with ReVision Energy we decided that there was the possibility to install a free standing array in Franklin and power all of our buildings.”
The land in Franklin, along the Georges Pond Road, was owned by DCP as part of a proposed housing development that was never constructed. Installation, funded by ReVision Energy, cost about $400,000 overall.
“Economics is always a factor, but our organization really values the fact that we’re getting our power from a sustainable source,” Green said.
Lest one think that DCP is running its own power lines to eight buildings from Franklin to Calais to Ellsworth, the way it works is this: the energy generated by the solar array feeds into the electric grid, and DCP receives a credit that covers its energy costs. The panels are owned by ReVision, but DCP will eventually be able to buy them out in the future.
“As a result of this we’re looking at the possibility of doing this on other residential properties,” Green said. “What we can do is when we weatherize a low-income home, we can also help install solar panels like these.”