SOUTH PORTLAND — For over 50 years, Gowen Power Systems in Portland has installed and serviced thousands of generators throughout Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Fortunately for Holy Cross School in South Portland, the president of the company, John Weyrens is a Holy Cross parent.

“Due to a major CMP power outage, the South Portland School Department canceled classes for Thursday, Jan. 28, but Holy Cross was able to stay open for in-person learning,” said Cindy Elwood, principal of Holy Cross, located on 436 Broadway.

The reason stems from the generosity of Gowen Power and SHP Management in Falmouth. A series of events that greatly assisted a grateful Holy Cross community in November.

“We had installed a new generator at SHP Management in Falmouth as the company had outgrown their old generator,” said Weyrens. “The old generator is in excellent working condition and had less than 500 hours of use, roughly equivalent to a car with 10,000 miles. Normally, we would find a commercial customer to re-sell this unit to, but it has an unusual configuration for a larger commercial unit in that it provides ‘single phase’ power. Most commercial units generate ‘three phase’ power, as this is how most commercial buildings are configured. The phases are not compatible with each other. Lo and behold, Holy Cross is single phase!”

The generator was donated to Holy Cross by SHP and installed by Gowen Power, which donated the labor, transfer switch, gas connection, and installation materials. The entire project came at no cost to the school.

“This morning, the power flickered and ceased to be but within seconds the backup generator kicked in and the lights came on,” said Elwood. “We notified parents of the power outage and that school would still be in session. We are all thankful and blessed to be in school and very grateful for the generosity to our school community that keeps us participating in on-campus learning.”