Community Solar Supports the Gardiner Community


PowerMarket and SunRaise help to bring the benefits of community solar to Gardiner, ME

May 18, 2021


The first community solar project in Gardiner, Maine has started producing clean energy. With the help of SunRaise, a New England solar energy developer, owner, and operator, and PowerMarket, an employee-owned leader in community solar management services, community members who are taking part in this project now have access to the benefits of clean energy.

The largest subscriber to this project is John F. Murphy Homes (JFM), which services children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in the Greater Lewiston-Auburn area. As a subscriber to this community solar project, JFM will begin receiving savings on their monthly electricity bills for supporting the development of renewable energy in the area.

“We’re a big organization and we have about 50 different physical locations that utilize utilities,” Todd Goodwin, CEO of John F. Murphy Homes, said. “The idea of realizing some savings on utility costs made perfect sense to us. And, we also happen to believe in the value of continuing to find more environmentally friendly and reliable sources of energy. So all those things came together . . . and we signed [the community solar subscriber agreement] happily . . .”

However, it wasn’t without some skepticism. That’s because community solar allows residents who reside in the same utility territory as a solar farm to simply sign up to claim a portion of the project. There are even no fees to join or leave the project with notice.

Mr. Goodwin added, “My thought [about community solar initially] was, gosh, that sounds like an interesting idea and something [that] could never be done. What’s the catch?”

There isn’t one. While community solar is new to Maine, residents in states like New York and Massachusetts have been seeing the benefits of this local renewable energy option for years now. Clean energy that is produced by a participant’s portion of the project is represented via community solar credits that appear on their electricity bill. Subscribers then receive a bill for these credits but at a discount – saving them money every month.

JFM and other community members have been able to take part in this renewable energy option thanks to Pine State Trading, a third generation and privately held family company in the community. Pine State Trading has always been a forward-thinking company with a goal to reduce its impact on the environment. Putting solar panels on underutilized spaces like the roof of their building made sense to them.

“We have put motion detectors everywhere, we’ve got LED lighting everywhere we can . . . we have a cooler to keep kegs cold, and we put in an air exchanger so when it’s cold outside we can suck cold air in. So, we’ve been doing [environmentally friendly updates and] solar panels were the next thing,” Gary Grunewald, CFO at Pine State Trading, said.

But community solar means more than saving money every month, lowering carbon footprints, and providing Mainers with access to renewable energy. Community solar means strengthening communities and supporting Maine’s future.

“Maine’s economy is very tourism driven and if the environment changes, negatively . . . that will have a significant impact,” Mr. Grunewald said. “For an economy that is so driven by the environment, we need to be at the forefront of helping lessen human’s impact on it.”

CMP customers who are interested in taking part in community solar and supporting Maine’s future can sign up for SunRaise community solar projects, like one in Belfast, ME. Learn more about this community solar project on PowerMarket’s marketplace or contact PowerMarket at or 207-280-8130.

About PowerMarket: PowerMarket works to make clean energy more accessible, affordable, and ubiquitous through community solar. We are a recognized market leader in providing subscriber acquisition, management & billing services to the community solar industry. Based in New York and with offices in Maine, we manage over 20,000 subscribers—ensuring that they are seeing utility bill credits, savings and the environmental impact of their participation. Since inception, we have put over $600,000 back into the pockets of our community solar subscribers. We are an advocate for our subscribers and have rolled out many programs across the Northeast with Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) carve outs to ensure benefits are equally distributed to these communities.

Company Website:

Media Contact: Ellen Barrett

About SunRaise: SunRaise is a mission driven commercial solar energy owner, operator, and development group. We develop, finance, own, and operate large community solar energy projects. As a developer and owner, we are unique in that we can be the one party to bring your public or private property through permitting, interconnection, construction, financing, and operation, allowing property owners to enjoy a seamless relationship with one party. Lease your land or roof and receive long-term predictable revenue from SunRaise. We develop projects on farm land, roof tops, landfills, gravel pits, parking lot canopies, industrial sites, forested land and more. We invest in these solar projects so our electricity consumers don’t have to pay the upfront cost of solar. Instead, we provide consumers with a low, stable electricity rate, significant savings, and environmental leadership. We choose to do this because we care deeply about our future. We are committed to a complete transition away from fossil fuels & towards clean renewable energy because it must happen now.

Company Website:

Media Contact: Patrick Jackson

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