Dixmont residents passed a temporary ban on commercial solar installations to allow the planning board to develop an ordinance concerning the installations' decommissioning process. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

Dixmont has passed a temporary ban on commercial solar installations.

At a special town meeting on Tuesday, residents voted for a moratorium on solar panel arrays until the planning board comes up with an ordinance concerning the decommissioning process of such solar panel installations.

A “strong majority” of the 27 residents who were present voted for the moratorium, Selectman David Bright said.

The moratorium only applies to commercial solar installations where the power generated is sold off premises, Bright said. It grew out of town officials’ concern that there was no requirement that developers set aside money for when it came time to decommission the solar panels.

Residential and retail installations where “the power is intended to be used on site” would be exempt from the new rule, Bright said.

The new ban comes as Penobscot County faces a raft of new proposals from developers seeking permission to install solar panels in towns throughout the county.

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.