Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

ReVision Solar Projects Benefit Local Communities

Wishcamper Hampden community solar farm in Hampden, Maine will generate the equivalent to the energy use of 776 homes. (Images courtesy of ReVision Energy)

George Harvey

ReVision Energy recently let us know about two community solar projects they have been working on. One was commissioned in February, and the other is in an early stage of development.

It might be a good idea to explain what a community solar project is. Many people would like to have their own solar array, but they have no place to put panels. Some of these people live in apartments or rent a home where solar panels would not be allowed. Others live in places where the sun does not shine sufficiently, such as on the north side of a steep mountain. Other people have other issues.

Whatever their reason for being unable to install a solar photovoltaic system where they live, some states allow people to participate in a shared solar system elsewhere, a community solar farm (CSF), and get credit for what the system produces.

Mark Zankel, director of community solar farms for ReVision Energy, summed this up saying, “In essence, a community solar farm is a large solar array that allows more than one electricity user to share the benefits of the energy that it generates,” said Zankel. “CSFs are great, because they open up access to the financial and environmental advantages of solar energy for those who cannot put panels on their own property.”

Wishcamper Hampden Community Solar Farm

The Wishcamper Hampden Community Solar Farm was built by a partnership of ReVision Energy and Wishcamper Companies, a nationwide real estate developer. It was commissioned on February 29in Hampden, Maine.

ReVision co-founder Phil Coupe explained a particular reason why community solar projects should be of interest in that state: “Because Maine is one of the most heavily forested states in the nation, meaning lots of shady rooftops and places where solar isn’t viable, we need these large-scale, ground-mounted solar projects to help our communities and institutions move away from burning oil and gas.” Stressing the economics of the Wishcamper Hampden community solar farm, he added, “Every time we build a clean energy project like this one, we keep our dollars right here at home in the local economy, creating good jobs, and giving us that energy independence and resilience that we truly need.”

Wishcamper Companies, is the investor and owner of the Wishcamper Hampden community solar farm. Charlie Duprey, the Vice President of Solar Development, addressed the benefit of partnering with ReVision Energy to develop the system. “This definitely wasn’t an easy build. We ran into some bumps along the way, but ReVision’s expertise and guidance mitigated those factors, and we were able to come online in our desired time frame.”

The subscribers of the array include schools, the Isle au Haut Power Company, Bangor Water District, and the Town of Blue Hill and others. They receive energy credits, which are used to reduce their energy bills. College of the Atlantic President Dr. Darron Collins ’92 commented on how important the solar farm is to his institution. “This project is a key ingredient in our commitment to eliminate the use of fossil fuels on campus by 2030,” he said.

The Wishcamper Hampden community solar farm was built on the site of a closed gravel pit. It has 14,256 solar panels. Its energy production is estimated at 8,690 megawatt-hours, which is the equivalent to the average energy use of 776 homes.

The Jaffrey Community Solar rendition which will be built in New Hampshire in 2024.

Jaffrey Community Solar

ReVision Energy also told us about another community solar project it is developing in New Hampshire. It will be built on a capped landfill in Jaffrey. Construction of the Jaffrey Community Solar (JCS) project is expected to be started in the third or fourth quarter of 2024, and it should be operating in 2025. It will have a capacity of 1.344 megawatts (MW) DC, and a nameplate capacity of 999kW AC. Mark Zankel said the JCS will be the largest offtaker-owned community solar array in New Hampshire.

Households, small businesses, and non-profits can buy shares in the JCS project. Since the array is owned by these types of non-governmental shareholders, New Hampshire law limits its size to 1.0 MW of nameplate AC capacity. For those interested, more information is available at .

Under NH’s current net-metering rules, CSF member shareholders are not compensated for the value of their generated energy as well as they would be with a similar sized rooftop system, however, they will still have significant energy savings over the life of the system. This policy can be improved by elected official.

One thing to note, according to Zankel, is that current net metering rules do not allow residents to receive the full value of their generated energy. So, the shareholders in CSFs get a reduced value from their investment. That, however, is a policy matter and can be changed by elected officials.

New Hampshire’s rather unfriendly attitude toward renewable energy has had results. Massachusetts gets 21.8% of its electricity from solar power; Vermont gets 20.1%; and Maine, which has been playing catch-up gets 8.7%. New Hampshire gets only 1.4% and has a long way to go to take advantage of what the sun gives it for free.

ReVision Energy’s website is

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