Under Maryland’s Generating Clean Horizons initiative, Constellation Energy has been chosen to develop an approximately 15.9MW DC (13.5MW AC) solar photovoltaic power installation. Representing the majority of a 17.1MW DC (14.5MW AC) US$60 million solar facility to be owned, maintained and operated by Constellation Energy, the installation will be placed on land leased from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Completion of the system by December 2012 will mark the facility as the largest solar photovoltaic installation in Maryland. Currently, only the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Florida and a soon to be completed solar electric power plant in Blythe, California 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 of Constellation Energy. “This large-scale solar facility will make a significant contribution to our shared goal of a cleaner energy future.”
The new installation is predicted to produce over 21,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The state of Maryland will purchase renewable electricity produced by the system under a 20-year solar power purchase agreement.
The system will also use thin-film photovoltaic solar panels placed on approximately 100 acres of university land. Under the terms of the agreement, St. Mary’s University will also purchase 1.2MW of electricity from the system.
Thomas H. Powell, president of Mount St. Mary’s University, suggests the agreement falls in live with the university’s own goals, saying: “This unique partnership with Constellation Energy strengthens Mount St. Mary’s University’s commitment to the promotion and creation of clean energy. 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 Clean Horizons Initiative, set up in February 2009 has requested proposals for long-term power purchase agreements from renewable power sources delivering clean power to the grid be delivered by 2014. Constellation Energy’s developing solar facility is a response to this initiative.
Constellation Energy’s solar facility in Emmitsburg is one of many moves by the company towards energy efficiency and clean energy projects in Maryland. The company has also signed an agreement to develop a US$140 million, 70MW wind energy project in Garrett County and has finished construction on a US$1 billion air quality scrubber at its Brandon Shores power plant.
Baltimore Gas and Electric, Constellation Energy’s regulated utility in Central Maryland, has received federal matching dollars to develop a Smart Grid system in the United States.
To date, Constellation Energy has developed approximately 10MW of solar photovoltaic systems for customers in Maryland and throughout the U.S. In 2008, the company developed a 300kW solar system for the Maryland Environmental Service, a first for a Maryland state agency.