Maine Audubon lights up with solar energy

Maine Audubon solar unitMaine Audubon is leading and showing us the way to sustainable solar power, with help from Revision Energy and Moody’s Collision Centers. At its Gilsland Farm headquarters in Falmouth, Maine Audubon has constructed one of the largest solar panel arrays installed by a conservation organization in the state. The panels will provide roughly 84% of Gilsland Farm’s electricity.

Revision Energy installed the system and Audubon partnered with Moody’s Collision Centers in a clever collaborative way to finance the solar system. It’s called a Power Purchase Agreement. Moody’s, as the investor, is able to take advantage of federal solar energy tax credits for which the nonprofit Maine Audubon cannot quality.

Technically, Moody’s owns the solar panels, and Maine Audubon will purchase the electricity from Moody’s for the next six years. Moody’s will get its investment money back in that time, thanks to Audubon’s payments and the federal tax credits, and then Audubon will have the option of purchasing the system.

Shawn Moody, who was an independent candidate for governor in 2010, is one of the state’s smartest entrepreneurs and widely recognized for his leadership skills. Last year Governor Paul LePage nominated Shawn, and the Senate unanimously confirmed him, as the first person to ever serve on the Boards of both the University of Maine system and the Community College system. Not bad for a guy who didn’t go to college!

                This is not Moody’s first step toward being good environmental stewards. Their dedication to green technology helped them maximize their energy efficiency and minimize their impact on the planet. Their efforts include waterborne base coats (all locations were converted by end of 2010) and energy-efficient lighting. All their sheet metal is recycled, and all their compressors, lighting & HVAC meet Efficiency Maine specifications.

No wonder Maine Audubon wanted to partner with Moody’s! Commenting on the new solar system, Maine Audubon’s new executive director, Charles Gauvin, said, “Climate change is the number one threat to wildlife in Maine. As the state’s largest wildlife conservation organization, we must take actions to reduce carbon emissions.” Good for them!

And shame on us. Maine is one of the few states that offer no tax credits for the installation of solar systems.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.