OWLS HEAD — With the support of the Knox County Commissioners, the Knox County Regional Airport, in Owls Head, chose ReVision Energy of Liberty to design, procure, install, test and commission a solar power generating system on a 55 acre parcel of unused airport property.
The array is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2022.
The county chose ReVision Energy following a request for proposals August 20. Aside from ReVision, the other proposal was submitted by Cenergy, of California.
“ReVision Energy was selected for the project due to their extensive solar experience serving the citizens of Maine and New England for more than 17 years,” said Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw, Oct. 21. “With an impeccable record, and recommended by several institutions and individuals, the Knox County Commissioners were pleased to be able to keep the CARES Act money invested locally into our struggling communities.”
The airport received in April 2020 almost $18 million in federal CARES Act funding.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included $10 billion to be awarded as economic relief to U.S. airports affected by the prevention of, preparation for, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At their Aug. 11 meeting the Knox County Commissioners authorized the County Administrator to pursue proposals for the solar array.
“During the planning phase of the usage of the CARES Act funding, it was discovered that we could use to funds to generate income at the airport,” according to county meeting minutes. “Upon further research, it was revealed that we could generate approximately $700,000 annually in additional revenue for the Airport. It makes the Airport exponentially more financially sustainable, and reduces the financial burden to the local communities to nothing.”
The county intends to produce electricity to generate revenue from unused portions of the airport.
According to ReVision’s proposal, the project will include 56 inverters and 14,816 panels, with Year 1 of operation to generate 6,654,001 kWh.
“Once operational, the Solar Energy Generating Facility will generate enough electricity to power the entire airport, while also generating approximately $800,000 in annual revenue,” said an Oct. 24 release from the airport. “Those funds will be reinvested into the airport to bolster the airport’s ability to safely serve Maine’s Island Communities, the traveling public, and strengthen the airport’s financial position while also reducing the surrounding municipalities’ tax burden.”
Over 25 years, ReVision expects net savings of $17 million.
Founded in 2003, ReVision Energy has installed over 7,000 solar energy systems in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. They are a 100 percent Employee-Owned full-service company with in-house engineers, solar installers, and a support team with 24/7 emergency service.