Queen Anne’s County has turned to the sun for cleaner and more affordable energy. By partnering with SolarCity, the county was able to install 9,856 solar panels (approximately 2.37 megawatts) on 20 acres of land that was previously underutilized. The large, ground-mounted system produces enough energy to fully power five county facilities: the Department of Emergency Services, Department of Public Works, Department of Correction, the Liberty Building and
Health Department. The Kent Island Wastewater Plant uses any remaining energy produced by the solar array.
“With the addition of three more megawatts of solar energy from the Eastern Shore, we’re closer to a more resilient grid and even closer to reaching our goal of achieving 20% of in-state renewable generation by 2022,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.
The installation is expected to save the county approximately $230,000* each year – adding up to $4.6 million* in savings over the lifetime of the contract.
The project is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that lets the county generate clean energy with no upfront costs and low solar rates that are guaranteed for the next 20 years. Since it is a lease agreement, SolarCity covers all repairs and insurance.
“Not only could the county save approximately $4.6 million* during the life of the project, but those savings (and the great benefits to the environment) are beingachieved with no upfront cost to county taxpayers,” said Queen Anne’s County Sustainability Council Member Alex Likowski. “The project is a model for every county and major municipality in Maryland.”