Ranger advances New England's largest solar project

Developer Ranger Solar has finalised a property lease agreement that will allow it to develop a PV project up to 100MW at the site of a former US Air Force base in thinly-populated northeastern Maine.

The project would be the largest PV facility in New England.

The deal between Loring Development Authority and Ranger will allow it to locate the project on 600 acres (2.4 sq km) of land at Loring Commercial Centre near the town of Limestone, Maine.

Ranger says the site at the former Loring Air Force Base, which closed in 1994, is ideal for solar because of the large tracts of open and previously developed land in close proximity to existing electrical and other support infrastructure.

Maine is the only state in New England with fairly large tracts of available land for larger utility-scale PV development. It also is known for harsh winters with sometimes heavy snowfall.

According to local press reports, Ranger wants to begin construction before 2019 and is now reviewing potential power off-take agreements.