Bowdoin College has broken ground on a solar power complex that is to be seven times the size of the largest existing solar installation in the state.
The 1.2 megawatt complex, to be built partially on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station land acquired by the college, will include approximately 4,500 solar panels.
The project includes four solar installations. There will be rooftop systems on the Farley Field House, the Sidney J. Watson Arena, Greason Pool, and a residence hall located at 52 Harpswell Road, in addition to the 700-kW ground-mount installation on three acres owned by the college at the former Navy base.
“Our college is proud to be moving forward with this significant investment in clean and renewable solar energy,” said President Barry Mills.
“Our partnership with SolarCity reduces Bowdoin’s dependence on fossil fuels and makes sense for the college economically. 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.”
The project is a collaboration between Bowdoin and SolarCity Corp., the nation’s largest solar service provider. Under the agreement, SolarCity will finance, build, own and maintain the solar installations on college property, with Bowdoin purchasing all generated power. The proposed multi-million dollar solar installation is expected to offset about 8% of Bowdoin’s annual electricity usage.
Bowdoin’s solar power initiative is the latest effort to support renewable energy at the Brunswick campus and helps advance the college’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2020, according to S. Catherine Longley, Bowdoin’s senior vice president of finance and administration & treasurer.
Earlier electrical efficiency projects include the installation of a cogeneration facility in the central heating plant and the installation of solar thermal panels on the roof of Thorne Hall and the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center.
For more information about Bowdoin’s ongoing sustainability efforts, including its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020, visit the college’s sustainability website.
SolarCity® (Nasdaq:SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company makes solar energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. SolarCity currently serves 15 states and signs a new customer every two minutes. Visit the company online atwww.solarcity.com and follow the company on Facebook & Twitter.