The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority plans to install a 1.5 megawatt solar farm at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station as it prepares to develop a microgrid powered entirely onsite.

The agency that’s redeveloping the Brunswick Landing business park said in a newsletter Thursday that ReVision Energy plans will soon break ground on the solar array that it plans to have operating by the end of this year. It will mostly provide power to Brunswick Landing’s airport, hangars and runway systems.

The solar farm will add to a 1-megawatt biogas plant that supplies Brunswick Landing’s local grid, which businesses use to consume as much as 3.5 megawatts of power. The redevelopment authority manages the former base’s grid, which has a connection to Central Maine Power Co.’s system.

The redevelopment authority eventually wants to be able to operate as an energy island, generating all of the power needed for its businesses locally, using renewable energy technologies.

As the base pursues that goal, it also will serve as a laboratory for changing the way power is delivered and priced across the country. The Portland-based Introspective Systems in June won a $987,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to study how price triggers help could lower system peaks and reallocate grid resources, according to Mainebiz.

The company will test its software at Brunswick Landing as the regional redevelopment authority solicits proposals from companies that could help it develop a microgrid that could operate independently.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.