SMECO To Build New Solar Farm in Charles County

There will soon be a new solar farm in Charles County.

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) in partnership with juwi solar, Inc. will be building an 80 acre, 41,000 solar panel project in Waldorf that is expected to generate between 80-110 jobs and enough energy to power 1,300 homes. As reported in The Southern Maryland News Online:

“This is one the most exciting projects that’s happened in the county in a very long time. It’s a commitment by SMECO toward a sustainable future,” [Charles County Commissioner Ken] Robinson said. “I’m also really pleased with the site because it is a former gravel mine, so I can’t think of a better way to reclaim the land then to do it this way. But in addition to the obvious benefits to renewable energy, this is also a major economic development project for the county. It’s going to bring in $40 million, and it’s going to happen fast.”

State law requires that utilities purchase 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2022. Two percent must come from solar energy produced in Maryland.

SMECO expects the two solar facilities to meet its requirements until 2017, [SMECO spokesman Tom] Dennison said.

“I think it’s a great step forward for Southern Maryland and our customer-members that in the past two to three years we’ve brought commercial solar facilities into our service territory, and it’s significant in that we’re continuing to meet our requirements in the most cost-effective way possible,” he said. “We’re looking forward to an expedited approval process and hope to get construction started soon.”

The solar farm will be the second in the County and double the size of the first located in Hughesville. Depending on the local permitting process, the project can go live as soon as the end of the year.

For more information read the full article in The Southern Maryland News Online.

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