Howard, Queen Anne’s Counties Launch Solar Projects

Two recent Baltimore Sun articles have reported on the recent launches of major solar projects in Howard and Queen Anne’s Counties.  A November 24 B’More Green blog article reports on the installation of solar panels at a Howard County sewage plant in order to offset the carbon emissions from emergency backup diesel generators.

Howard County is beginning work this week installing about 740 photovoltaic panels at its Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant in Savage. The $1.5 million project will generate a fraction of the power needed by Maryland’s fifth largest wastewater treatment plant. Its chief purpose, however, according to County Executive Ken Ulman, is to offset carbon emissions from big new diesel generators being installed to prevent sewage spills like the massive one triggered by Superstorm Sandy last year.  …

Officials say the solar panels will more than make up for the carbon dioxide emitted by the generators. The 217 kilowatt-hours of electricity the array will generate when the sun is shining also should shave an estimated $22,800 from the plant’s power bill for the year.

The article also notes that solar panels have recently been installed at wastewater treatment plants in Baltimore, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and several Eastern Shore counties.

A November 25 Sun article also reported on an announcement by SolarCity that it will open three solar facilities in Queen Anne’s County – two for the town Centreville and one for the County. Combined, the three facilities would be the largest in the state that are not owned by a utility company.

The installations include more than 14,000 solar panels and are capable of generating more than 3 megawatts of electricity, SolarCity said. That’s enough to power about 300 Maryland homes for a year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The article notes that the local governments will not own the facilities but will purchase the power through a power purchase agreement.