Report: Portland Lags in Solar Energy Development

Apr 6, 2016

Portland is lagging behind other American cities in the installation of solar panels. That's according to a new report from Environment Maine and the national environmental organization, Frontier Group.

The report ranks Portland at number 42 in solar, per capita. Phil Coop is a co-founder of the solar company Revision Energy; speaking at a press conference this morning, he said Portland is not just behind really sunny cities, like Phoenix and Los Angeles.

"We are dead last in New England in solar energy adoption," Coop said, "and that's a real problem in Maine. We have the highest per capita fossil fuel and carbon pollution here in Maine, and yet we're dead last in our renewable energy adoption."

Coop says cities like Portland can increase solar, not just by installing panels on or around their homes, but also by investing in solar farms nearby.

The city is currently exploring a joint solar farm project with South Portland.

He and other solar advocates also said the state needs to do more to support solar power. A controversial solar power bill is currently in the Legislature; its future is uncertain.