Williamsport, Md. – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today toured the Washington County solar array with County Commissioners, County energy officials and private sector partners from EPG Solar. The Washington County Government eventually to aims have all the electricity consumed by county government be 100 percent green energy.
“Washington County is leading our state, and quickly becoming a national model for the use of renewable energy by municipal governments,” said Senator Cardin. “Some in Congress have been slow in realizing that fossil fuels are expensive and finite, Washington County should be commended for their forward looking actions in harnessing the power of solar energy. By taking bold and creative steps to leverage public-private partnerships and thinking outside the box; Washington County is saving tax payer money, creating jobs, and reducing their carbon footprint.
“Congress should be working closely with our partners in local government to make more projects like this possible by reforming our tax code, and proving federal investments to municipalities committed to becoming energy independent through investing in renewables. I look forward to working with counties across Maryland to build on the momentum Washington County has sparked within our state,” Senator Cardin added.
The Maryland Energy Administration reports that Washington County led all other counties in solar-energy production with 33.8 megawatts, representing about 18 percent of the state’s total 184-megawatt capacity as of August 2014. Washington County could become the first county in Maryland to obtain all of its electricity through solar initiative projects on county property. Several solar arrays scheduled for construction on county-owned sites could produce up to 25 megawatts of “green” power, with 4 to 6 megawatts expected to be complete and online at county-owned sites by the end of 2015.
The newly constructed Washington County solar array located behind Kemps Mill Park in Williamsport was made possible under a lease agreement for 130 acres of land. The County will receive more than $375,000 a year in rent and revenue with an estimated $100,000 in energy cost savings. In exchange, Spear Point Energy, EPG Solar and Northern Energy & Power assume responsibility for financing, installation and maintenance of solar farms behind Kemps Mills Park and other sites across the County.