The solar arrays will be the largest public school solar project on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and will be owned and operated by Washington Gas and Energy Systems. Kenyon Energy developed and financed the systems, while REC Solar acted as the design-build turnkey provider. The completed systems, which include more than 8,200 ground-mounted panels, will provide enough power to reduce the schools’ electricity bills and allow them to lock in fixed rates of electricity for the lifetime of the system, which is typically more than 25 years.
In addition to providing affordable, clean energy to Caroline County schools, the solar arrays will help serve as an educational tool for students. Each school will be equipped with highly visible monitoring displays that give students access to real-time data from the systems, including energy production, emissions offsets, and weather data. Other benefits to the Caroline County community include local job creation, with the projects fueling 83 jobs in installation, landscaping, and construction.
The three arrays of 919 kW-DC (North Caroline High School), 796 kW-DC (Colonel Richardson Middle and High Schools), and 315 kW-DC (Greensboro Elementary), combined will create a 2,030 kW-DC ground-mounted system. All together, these systems will offset over 12 million barrels of oil over their 25 year lifetime, the equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from over 1 million passenger vehicles or 1.3 coal-fired power plants.
REC Solar aided in the research and implementation of various land development permitting requirements and policies within each local jurisdiction. This initial pre-development groundwork included the compilation of 18 agency and local jurisdiction approvals and permits. As a result, the solar arrays were completed on schedule and will soon begin producing clean, affordable electricity.
“These projects reflect innovative design and installation techniques that drive cost savings for schools and clean power for the community” said Maxwell Dworkin, director of commercial business development at REC Solar. “We’re pleased to see such strong support from the Caroline County community as well as Washington Gas and Energy Systems as they prove themselves to be leaders in Maryland’s growing solar movement.”
For more information, visit www.recsolar.com.
Publication date: 12/3/2012