Brunswick Landing solar farm and microgridReVision is wrapping up the installation of what will be our largest solar installation to-date in Maine – 1.5 megawatts (over 4,500 solar panels in all) – at Brunswick Landing, the site of Brunswick’s former Naval air base.

Brunswick Landing is managed by Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) and sits on over 3,000 acres with almost 2 million square feet of commercial and industrial space. MRRA’s mission is to manage the transition of former military base properties to civilian uses, and part of that responsibility includes managing their own self-contained microgrid.

The solar project joins existing electricity generation assets at Brunswick Landing, including a 1 megawatt anaerobic digester that creates power with methane gas generated from the municipal sewer system. Combining large-scale renewable energy with battery storage, heat pumps, LEDs and electric vehicle charging provides Brunswick Landing with greater energy resiliency and independence.

And best yet, by harnessing indigenous electricity resources and not wasting large amounts of power by transporting it long distances, the microgrid is able to provide electricity at a lower cost than traditional energy sources. The result is that the Maine businesses located at Brunswick Landing are more competitive as they compete locally and internationally.

MRRA’s vision is that the Brunswick Landing microgrid will demonstrate the grid of the future, accomplished by embracing new technologies and attracting renewable energy businesses who can use the microgrid to develop their businesses and beta test new technology.

As storms intensify and utility grid vulnerability increases, it’s very good news that one of the first renewable energy microgrids in our region is being built at Brunswick Landing. Combining large-scale renewable energy with battery storage, heat pumps, LEDs and electric vehicle charging, the microgrid project is a community-scale, self-contained energy island emerging on the grounds of the former Naval air base that will provide greater energy resiliency and independence at lower cost than traditional energy sources.

MRRA has already created more than 1,500 jobs at over 100 businesses in Brunswick since the Naval base’s closure, making Brunswick Landing an excellent model for how other closed military bases can transition into boons for their local economies.

Look forward to future editions of Under the Sun where we’ll dig a bit deeper into how this innovative project reduces energy costs and integrates with other renewable generation sources and smart electronics to facilitate 21st century business.