Ranger Solar and the Loring Development Authority (LDA) have jointly announced the execution of a lease that paves the way for a large solar project at a former U.S. Air Force base in Maine.
The agreement allows Ranger Solar, a Yarmouth, Maine-based solar energy development company, to lease over 600 acres of land at Loring Commerce Centre, the site of the former Loring Air Force Base, for the purpose of operating a utility-scale solar energy project slated to be up to 100 MW in size.
Established by the State of Maine, the LDA acquired nearly 3,800 acres from the U.S. Air Force following the base’s closure in 1994, and the former base is now a multi-faceted business park. Ranger Solar says the site 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.
The solar company first approached the LDA in 2015. Since then, the two parties have worked to define the lease area and reach agreement on the lease terms. Ranger Solar says the airport at Loring will join a growing number of airports that have seen solar panels installed in the compatible areas surrounding the runways.
Carl Flora, president and CEO of the LDA, commented, “The LDA is excited to be working with Ranger Solar on the project; we have been consistently impressed with Ranger’s commitment to bringing solar to northern Maine, as well as their professionalism in working to achieve the objectives of the LDA and the region. Furthermore, the solar project will not conflict with potential future aeronautical uses and will bring new economic development to the region.”
Aaron Svedlow, director of permitting for Ranger Solar, said, “We feel this project is a great fit for Loring Commerce Centre, as it will utilize previously impacted lands and does not conflict with other uses of the property. We are grateful to the Loring Development Authority for their support and look forward to a strong partnership in bringing new economic development to Aroostook County.”