Baltimore, August 29, 2012 — Constellation announced the completion of a 16.1-MW grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) solar installation in Emmitsburg, Maryland., as part of the state of Maryland's Generating Clean Horizons initiative.
Constellation financed, owns and operates the about $50 million solar facility on behalf of its customer, the state of Maryland. Electricity generated by the system is purchased by the state's Department of General Services and the University System of Maryland under 20-year solar power purchase agreements with Constellation.
The grid-connected system is expected to produce more than 20 million kWh of emissions-free electricity per year. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of 17,981 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to U.S. EPA data.
The ground-mounted solar power plant was constructed by First Solar, using about 220,000 of its advanced thin film PV panels situated on 100 acres of land leased by Constellation from Mount St. Mary's University. In addition to the 16.1-MW system, Constellation developed a 1.6-MW solar power system on the site that will supply power directly to the university.
In February 2009, 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.
The initiative was intended to spur the development of large-scale, commercial renewable energy projects, and the state issued requests for proposals for long-term power purchase agreements from renewable sources delivering clean power to the grid by 2014.
Constellation currently owns and operates more than 112 MW of solar installations that have been completed or are under construction for commercial and government customers throughout the U.S.
In Maryland, Constellation has developed nearly 25 MW of solar projects for customers, including Anne Arundel County, Coppin State University, General Motors, Maryland Science Center and McCormick & Co.
By structuring its solar projects as power purchase agreements or solar services agreements, Constellation offers solar installations that may require no upfront capital from customers and may provide fixed power costs that are less than projected market rates.