Frederick County Government’s building were entirely powered by renewable energy over the past year.
The County reached the 100% milestone by generating solar power and purchasing wind energy credits. The move to fully renewable energy sources is part of an overall plan that the Division of Energy and Environment is implementing to make County operations more resilient and energy efficient.
“I am proud that Frederick County relies 100% on clean energy,” County Executive Jan Gardner said. “The goal is to reduce our energy costs as we do our part to slow the rate of climate change. We save green by going green.”
According to the County press release:
Since 2016, Frederick County Government has installed several solar projects. The largest, a solar array on a closed portion of the Reichs Ford Road landfill, generates enough energy to power seven County facilities including charging stations for all-electric TransIT buses. A smaller array provides backup power to the Ballenger Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, and a solar heater provides hot water to the Adult Detention Center. Solar canopies are currently under construction in the parking lot of the Bourne Building on Montevue Lane.
The County sells Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and uses the proceeds to purchase wind energy. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, Frederick County generated $301,350 in profits by selling SRECs, and paid $65,266 for wind energy.
Executive Gardner also announced several programs to help residents and businesses lower their energy costs including:
- Power Saver Retrofits provides funds to low and middle-income households so they can make their homes more energy efficient.
- Homeowners and small businesses can reduce the cost of installing solar panels by joining the Capital Area Solar and Electric Vehicle Co-op before August 31.
- The County launched a new incentive program for businesses called Business Energy Saving Tune-ups. The BEST program provides grants to businesses that upgrade lighting or HVAC and commercial refrigeration systems. A BEST grant can be used to cover a customer’s share of Potomac Edison’s incentive program.
- Property Assessed Clean Energy loans can be used to upgrade commercial properties. PACE loans are paid back through the owner’s property tax bill.
County Executive Gardner took to social media to share her excitement and appreciation.