BALTIMORE, USA: Constellation Energy has been selected by the state of Maryland to develop an approximately 15.9 megawatt DC (13.5 MW/AC) solar photovoltaic power installation under the state’s Generating Clean Horizons initiative.
This installation will represent the bulk of a 17.1 megawatt DC (14.5 MW/AC), approximately $60 million solar facility that will be constructed, owned, operated and maintained by Constellation Energy on land leased from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. The system is expected to be completed by December 2012 and would be the largest solar photovoltaic installation in Maryland. Only two photovoltaic systems currently in operation in the U.S. are larger.
“Constellation Energy is pleased to be partnering with the state of Maryland on the Generating Clean Horizons initiative to develop new sources of clean power and stimulate the economy through the growth of the clean energy sector,” said Mayo A. Shattuck III, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Energy. “This large-scale solar facility will make a significant contribution to our shared goal of a cleaner energy future.”
Renewable electricity produced by the system will be purchased by the state of Maryland under a 20-year solar power purchase agreement. The system is expected to produce more than 21,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
The system will utilize innovative thin-film photovoltaic solar panels situated on approximately 100 acres of university land. Under the agreement, Mount St. Mary’s University will also purchase 1.2 megawatts of electricity from the system.
“This unique partnership with Constellation Energy strengthens Mount St. Mary’s University’s commitment to the promotion and creation of clean energy,” said Thomas H. Powell, president, Mount St. Mary’s University. “It continues the ‘greening’ of the Mount. Our students will be on the forefront of responsible land use and creation of renewable energy resources. Frederick County will benefit not only from our generation of clean energy but also from the reduction of dependence on more traditional use of coal, natural gas and fossil fuels.”
The Maryland Energy Administration, in partnership with the University System of Maryland and the Department of General Services approved the award of four renewable energy projects under the Generating Clean Horizons program launched in February 2009 to spur the development of large-scale, commercial renewable energy projects like this one. Under the initiative, the state issued requests for proposals for long-term power purchase agreements from renewable power sources delivering clean power to the grid by 2014.
Constellation Energy’s solar facility in Emmitsburg represents several recent commitments by the company to energy efficiency and clean energy projects in Maryland. Last week the company announced that it signed an agreement to develop a $140 million, 70-megawatt wind energy project in Garrett County, Md.
The company also recently completed construction of a $1 billion air quality scrubber at its Brandon Shores power plant. Baltimore Gas and Electric, Constellation Energy’s regulated utility in Central Maryland, announced that it has received federal matching dollars to develop one of the most ambitious Smart Grid systems in the United States. Constellation Energy also continues to be recognized as a leader pursuing the development of greenhouse-gas-emissions-free new nuclear plants in the US.
Constellation Energy has developed approximately 10 megawatts of solar photovoltaic systems for customers in Maryland and throughout the US. In 2008, the company developed a 300-kilowatt solar system for the Maryland Environmental Service, the first of its kind for a Maryland state agency.