In its recent newsletter, the National Association of Counties (NACO) highlights Washington County’s solar energy project, which generates net savings and revenue for the county totaling $475,000. From the NACo article,
Public-private partnerships with three solar energy producers have led to construction of 130 acres of solar panels which, when completed, will yield 25 megawatts of electricity, 14 megawatts of which will be purchased by the county and the school district at a reduced rate. That adds up to a savings of $100,000 a year over the previous energy contract, just for the county government.
“And it’s all sustainable,” said Julie Pippel, director of the county’s division of environmental management. “Plus, it’s all privately built and maintained.”
Montgomery County, Md.- based EPG Solar approached Washington County more than three years ago with an interest in using some of its land. Spear Point Energy and Northern Energy have followed suit. The solar field construction should be complete and online by the end of 2015.
In addition to purchasing electricity at a reduced rate, the county is also receiving rent revenue (one penny per kilowatt-hour generated) from the three energy companies.