Bowdoin College is beginning to build what is expected to become the state’s largest solar power project.

The school says that the 1.2 megawatt, 4,500-panel solar project will be seven times bigger than Maine’s largest existing installation.

Panels will be placed on several buildings, including the Farley Field House and the Greason Pool.

A 700 kilowatt ground-mount installation will be placed on land the college bought from the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

President Barry Mills says the project reduces the college’s reliance on fossil fuels and also provides educational opportunities surrounding alternative energy for students and faculty.

SolarCity Corp. is funding and building the installations and Bowdoin is buying the generated power. Officials estimate it will cut the college’s annual electricity costs by 8 percent.

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