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January 10, 2018 | last updated January 10, 2018 2:36 pm

Brunswick Landing's solar array another step toward its energy self-reliance

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
Fortunat Mueller, cofounder of ReVision Energy, on Tuesday discusses the 4,500-plus solar panels the company installed at Brunswick Landing. The array, which went online Dec. 27, is the company's largest installation.

The 1.5 megawatt solar array at Brunswick Landing that came on line recently is another step in the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority's move to generate 100% of its power onsite.

The 4,500-panel array was introduced to the public Tuesday by officials from the MRRA, as well as ReVision Energy, which installed it, and Diversified Communications, which owns the array and will sell the power to the MRRA.

The array will produce about 13% of the power used by Brunswick Landing's business and technology campus. Combined with the Village Green Ventures anaerobic digester biogas plant on site, about 75% of the energy on the 3,200-acre, 105-business site is now generated there.

"This is a great goal of what we're trying to achieve on campus," Steve Levesque, MRRA executive director, told the dozens who gathered in the Brunswick Executive Airport terminal Tuesday morning. "Our goal is that 100% of our power needs will be generated on campus."

Later, at the solar site about a half mile away from the terminal, MRRA Public Works and Utility Manager Tom Brubaker said Brunswick Landing had room for more solar, but could also add other power-generators, such as wind turbines.

MRRA operates what amounts to its own utility company — the power generated at Brunswick Landing isn't net metered, meaning it won't be exported to Central Maine Power Co. Fortunat Mueller, cofounder of ReVision, said the 1.5-megawatt system was designed to meet energy needs without having to store power.

He said businesses can also adjust their needs and functions to meet load availability.

"What's really cool is that Brunswick Landing is kind of a model for what people should be doing on the larger grid," he said.

The array is the largest ReVision has installed. The 2,944-panel, 34-acre array that recently powered up in South Portland was the largest up until Brunswick Landing.

The Brunswick array went online Dec. 27, in time to take advantage of tax credits due to expire at the end of 2017.

Investing in the solar project is part of Portland-based Diversified Communications "deep commitment" to sustainability said Daniel Hildreth, chairman of Diversified's board of directors. He told those gathered in the terminal that employees of the company have been enthusiastic about it.

Diversified CEO and President Theodore Wirth, who attended Tuesday's event, said the investment is something new for the publishing company, which also recently invested in a wind farm on Vinalhaven.

Diversified Communications will sell the electricity to MRRA for up to 25 years or until MRRA exercises an option to purchase the solar system.

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