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Unitil has begun work on a 4.9 MW solar array on 36 vacant acres in Kingston that will be the largest in the state and, importantly, the first such array owned by a regulated utility. (There are some rooftop arrays on utility buildings.) It’s near an existing substation and will feed into the grid.

From the press release: “Under New Hampshire law, utilities can invest in renewable generation of up to 6% of their total distribution peak load, which provides Unitil the opportunity to develop as much as 18 megawatts of renewable generation.” Unitil’s first solar array was built in 2017 in Fitchburg, Mass., at 1.3 Mw.

There’s a lot of debate in renewables world about whether utilities should be allowed to own and operate solar and wind farms. Pro: It’s probably the fastest way to get them built and feeding into the grid. Con: Utilities can sneakily favor their own sites and squeeze out everybody else, returning us to the world of monopoly power generation.

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