Wicomico County Ensures Renewable Energy Future


In a new project with SolarCity, Wicomico County will fulfill 37% of its county government utility needs and save an estimated $1.5 million over the next twenty years. The County recently negotiated a fixed 4.5 cent/kWh purchase price allocation for the next twenty years, with no annual increases.  This means that the county is guaranteed to be able to purchase energy from SolarCity at a stable rate, protecting against utility cost escalation and uncertainty.

The power purchase agreement provides that SolarCity will install, maintain and finance the solar systems, while Wicomico County simply “hosts” the system and only pays for the electricity produced. There are no upfront costs–SolarCity fully leverages all incentives and depreciation. There is a 100% performance guarantee over the next twenty years and at the end of the term the County may renew the agreement, purchase the system, or have it removed at SolarCity’s expense.  There are also early buyout options available starting at Year 6.

According to Lee Beauchamp, Wicomico County’s Public Works Director,

The solar farm concept is a win for both the county taxpayer and the environment. This project allows the county to re-purpose the property adjacent to the landfill for power generation at half the price paid on the electric grid. . . and it is clean energy produced locally. This initiative allows the county to reinvest energy savings into core services such as road paving and/or education.

For more information on the project, contact Director Lee Beauchamp, PE.