Garret County Signs Agreement with SolarCity for 1st Solar Arrays
Solar power will help county reduce energy costs
GARRETT, COUNTY, MD, July 7, 2015—Garrett County and SolarCity have signed an agreement to install approximately 5 megawatts of solar power capacity in the county. When installed and interconnected, the planned solar projects will cover approximately three-quarters of the county’s entire annual electricity needs and save significant taxpayer dollars. The projects will be the county’s first move into solar energy and, when completed, are expected to be the largest solar arrays in the county.
“The solar projects are a win/win for the county. The county is able to reduce energy costs while supporting renewable energy initiatives,” said Brian Bowers, Purchasing Agent for the county, who is serving as Project Manager for the solar projects.
The county’s decision to move forward with solar energy projects with SolarCity is the direct result of its commitment to energy conservation and renewable energy, and the continued implementation of the Energy Conservation Plan, adopted in August 2012. Since that time, the County has enrolled with the Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program and received three Maryland Energy Administration energy conservation/renewable energy grants to date. The most recent was $142,500.00 to assist with interconnection fees for these upcoming solar projects.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our county and our taxpayers to utilize an alternative energy source to keep costs low. Great job by Brian and his team to continuously look for ways to maximize our resources,” said Commissioner Paul Edwards, Chairman of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners.
The solar projects are financed by a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the county and SolarCity. The solar projects require no upfront investment from the county—instead the county will purchase the energy created by the solar arrays for less than the current cost of utility power. The rate for the solar energy will be roughly 20 percent less than current utility costs.
Garrett County expects the solar projects to be installed and interconnected throughout 2015 and 2016. The current plan is for three separate solar arrays on county land at the following locations: Deep Creek Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, 762 Mayhew Inn Road, Oakland, Maryland; Oakland Roads Garage, 375 Francis Sanders Drive, Mt. Lake Park, Maryland; and the Grantsville Refuse and Recycling Collection Site, 13168 National Pike, Grantsville, Maryland.
SolarCity is the nation’s #1 solar power provider with service in eighteen states, and has been operating in Maryland for more than four years. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company has helped several other Maryland counties and municipalities reduce their energy cost with clean solar energy.