Baltimore County Finalizes 21 Megawatt Solar Deal

A Baltimore Sun article (2016-08-29) reported that Baltimore County has reached an agreement with SolarCity to install solar panels at four County locations: (1) Woodstock landfill; (2) Parkton landfill; (3) Mount Vista Park in Kingsville; and (4) Southwest Area Regional Park in Lansdowne. The article stated that the total energy generation capacity from the four sites will be 21 megawatts. From the article:

In the first year, the county expects to save $450,000 in electricity costs.

“This is a smart use of government resources,” [Baltimore County Executive Kevin] Kamenetz said. …

SolarCity has worked out similar arrangements with several other jurisdictions in Maryland in recent years, said Brett Eskay, a senior project development manager for the company. But Baltimore County’s 21 megawatts will double the output of solar systems that SolarCity has installed for local governments in the state. …

The county’s [SolarCity] contract piggybacks on a contract with Montgomery County.

The article also noted that Kamenetz recently signed two executive orders on solar energy and discussed actions previously taken by the County Council on putting solar panels on rooftops:

The first [executive order] sets a goal of reducing the use of electricity in government buildings by 15 percent in five years. The second is a goal to get 20 percent of the county government’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2022. Officials said the four solar panel fields will get the county to that goal. …

Following lobbying by SolarCity and other firms, the County Council passed a law last year changing technical requirements so homeowners can fit more panels on their roofs.

The council also increased the amount of money available for solar energy tax credits. The county had put so little money into the program that some homeowners had to wait years to claim a credit.

“The council has done its part in moving solar energy forward,” said Chairwoman Vicki Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat.

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