The Clean Coalition thinks it has a solution to the outrageous cost of electricity on St. John. While a kilowatt of juice costs 8.5 cents in Maine, where at least half the homes heat with fuel oil, the cost is nearly five times as much on St. John.
Clean Coalition says it has a better idea: find land on the island, fill it with solar panels, generate power and reduce electricity bills as much as five percent. If the project produced more electricity at times than the island needed, it would be sold to the Water and Power Authority.
The Coalition’s director, Craig Lewis, said the cost of the project could be as much as $45 million.
But not to worry about the money, he said. “It was explained that, were residents so inclined, they could invest in the projected $45M project and get a tidy return on their money,” said Solar Jeff, an alternative energy consultant on the island. “Lacking that, we were informed, ‘outside’ investors would be happy to finance the construction. And, of course, there is always the chance of a nice Federal grant.”
Also attending the meeting were the CEO of WAPA, Senator Craig Barshinger, and Craig Lewis of the VI Energy Office.
Now, all they need is the land.