Maine’s largest solar power complex will be at Bowdoin College

BY RAMONA DU HOUX

December 20th, 2013 

Proposed area for solar panels at Bowdoin College

Proposed area for solar panels at Bowdoin College

A proposed solar power complex at Bowdoin College would generate much of the energy used to power the school’s largest athletic facilities. The 1,300-kilowatt system will be built partially on former Brunswick Naval Air Station land acquired by the College, and supplemented by the installation of solar panels on the roofs the college’s athletic facilities.

“This is an important step forward for renewable energy in Maine and I am pleased to see Bowdoin College taking such an environmental leadership position,” said Brownie Carson, former executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “I hope this project inspires others to make significant investments in renewables in the State.”

Currently, a 170-kilowatt system at Thomas College in Waterville installed by ReVison Energy is the largest solar panel installation in Maine.

The proposed Bowdoin project would be a collaboration between the College and SolarCity Corp., headquartered in San Mateo, Calif. The proposed multi-million dollar solar installation would offset about 8 percent of Bowdoin’s annual electricity usage.

“Our college is proud to propose this significant investment in clean and renewable solar energy,” said President Barry Mills. “It also provides meaningful educational opportunities for students and faculty focused on alternative energy and sustainability, and underscores Bowdoin’s continuing commitment to the responsible stewardship of our environment.”

Earlier alternative energy projects at Bowdoin include the installation of a cogeneration steam turbine in the central heating plant and the installation of solar thermal panels on the roof of Thorne Dining Hall and the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center.