The Maryland State Fair has announced plans to add over 7,000 rooftop solar panels to it’s Timonium fairgrounds. The project will be installed by SolarGaines and financed by NextGrid, allowing the fair to avoid up-front costs.
Fair officials are hoping to have the 2.6 megawatt project completed by spring 2020 to take advantage of an anticipated reduction in energy costs associated with the installation of solar. Costs are not the only reason for the project, as the fair is hoping to become better environmental stewards by also adding LED lights, a stormwater management project, and new tree plantings.
The energy demand from the fairgrounds, located in Timonium, will not be entirely met by the solar panels, fair officials said. But the energy produced by the rooftop panels should lower the ground’s electric bills, said Andy Cashman, general manager for the Maryland State Fair.
Cashman said that, since the rate for solar energy is decreasing, the fairgrounds will spend less on energy once the panels are installed, even though it will have to pay two suppliers.
He said it would be premature to guess how much money the fair will save, because energy produced from solar panels can vary depending on weather conditions.
David Gordon, an assistant to Cashman at the state fair, said the solar panel installation is “just a part of our continued effort to become more environmentally friendly as a whole.
Fair officials say they will install a kiosk at the fair to educate visitors on solar energy and show information on the impact of solar panels at the fairgrounds.