Energy Solutions

Bowdoin College is taking innovative approaches to energy conservation and efficiency in its quest to become carbon neutral by 2020. From installation of solar arrays to the operation of a co-generation facility in its central heating plant, Bowdoin consistently seeks new approaches to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.  

Strategy

Bowdoin has taken several significant steps to increase energy conservation including rebuilding several steam lines, installing energy efficient lighting throughout the campus and building to LEED certification standards.  The College has also undertaken significant weatherization projects in its building stock, which include insulation, energy efficient windows and air sealing.

Bowdoin has been a smart purchaser of utilities by locking in favorable natural gas, heating oil and electricity rates.

Bowdoin measures its energy use through an energy dashboard and solar PV metering of its facilities. This valuable data is used by faculty, staff and students alike to measure the College’s progress in reducing its carbon footprint.

Results

The most recent lighting projects in 2014 have reduced annual electricity usage by more than 600,000 kWhs or 3.2%.  These projects were supported by funding from the Efficiency Maine Trust.

The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project at the College’s central heating plant has reduced annual electricity usage by 8% through the operation of an efficient steam turbine. 

The solar arrays installed at Farley and Watson Arena, together with the arrays at the former Naval Air Station, represent the largest solar installation in Maine to date.  The 1.2 Megawatt facility is projected to provide an additional 8% of Bowdoin's annual electricity use.

Six Bowdoin buildings have received LEED Certification: