We are excited to announce the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Southern Maine Solar Collaborative (SMSC). The SMSC is a group of municipalities (including 3 of our 6 program member towns) that have agreed to work with SMPDC to implement a joint procurement process for a master Net energy Billing Credit Agreement (NEBCA) that may be adopted by all participating towns. We are soliciting bids for a master NEBCA for all participating municipalities to procure Net Energy Billing credits and Renewable Energy Credits to offset a significant portion of municipal electricity use. Together, the municipalities anticipate offsetting 1,350 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, equal to 70% of their total electricity emissions.

The SMSC formed in late 2020 out of growing interest in the Maine Net Energy Billing Program for distributed solar generation which was established by the State Legislature in 2019 and allows municipalities to offset their electricity bills using the output from small renewable generators such as solar farms. Many of SMPDC’s member municipalities have been approached by solar developers with offers to participate in the Net Energy Billing Program.

With funding support from York County, SMPDC is leading the RFP process and providing technical assistance gathering municipal electricity data. The towns have signified their commitment by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Select Board authorization. Member towns include Fryeburg, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach and Waterboro. By committing to working together, the towns aim to:

  • gain better pricing options enabled by larger procurement
  • reduce municipal staff time
  • implement competitive contract terms
  • increase peer learning and support

We hope that this cooperative effort can serve as a model for other municipalities to significantly reduce electricity fossil fuel emissions and promote distributed solar generation in the state.