Lucerne adopts commercial solar moratorium

DEDHAM — About ten residents of Lucerne village approved a Commercial Solar Energy Moratorium Ordinance at a special meeting Tuesday.

Code Enforcement Officer Rick Leavitt said the town has been approached about a solar development but has no ordinances for such a project.

“We have no ordinances for any regulation for any renewable energies,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt did not have any information to provide about who might be interested in developing a solar project in Dedham-Lucerne.

“There hasn’t been anything submitted yet,” he said.

The moratorium gives the village 180 days to develop and implement amendments to the town’s Land Use Ordinance.

“If we need to, we can extend it for another 180 days,” said Leavitt.

The ordinance states “there is a strong likelihood that all areas of the village will continue to be subjected to this development pressure due to the amount of undeveloped land, the nonexistence of any regulations or restrictions on location of commercial solar energy projects and the state Legislature’s recent passing of legislation favorable to the development of commercial solar energy projects.”

Passed in 2019, Maine legislation gives subsidies to businesses for building solar projects.

Proposals have been floated in communities across the state.

A company called Borrego Solar proposes building a solar farm in the town of Sedgwick off Caterpillar Road.

Sedgwick Planning Board Chairman Michael Rossney said the company intends to come to the next Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, March 10, to submit a site plan review application.

Borrego Solar responded to The Ellsworth American’s request for information about the project but did not provide it before press time.

According to the company’s website, Borrego Solar is the largest privately owned commercial solar company in the United States. It has offices in California, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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