The University of Maryland College Park Announces 631 KW Solar Project
Solar project is made possible by the Maryland Energy Administration
Project Sunburst Initiative and partnership with Washington Gas Energy
COLLEGE PARK, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
More than 2,600 solar panels will be installed on a University of
Maryland, College Park (UMD) building this summer, resulting in one of
the largest rooftop solar power systems in Maryland.
UMD was selected as a Maryland Energy Administration Project Sunburst
Initiative Partner and awarded a grant aimed at promoting the
installation of renewable energy systems on public buildings in
Maryland. As a result of a competitive bid process, Washington Gas
Energy Services, Inc. (WGES) will finance the remainder of the project
cost and UMD will purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels
under a 20-year agreement with WGES.
By the second quarter of 2011, the solar power system will be installed
and operating on the roof of UMD's Severn building, a multi-purpose
facility located less than a mile from the College Park campus. The 631
kilowatt system, which will be installed by Standard Solar Inc. of
Rockville, Md. and owned and operated by WGES, will produce about 792
megawatt hours of electricity each year.
"The University is committed to addressing the significant challenges of
this generation, including environmental sustainability, climate change,
and renewable energy," said Ann Wylie, Vice President of Administrative
Affairs and Chair of the University Sustainability Council. "The use of
solar energy — a clean energy source that produces no greenhouse gases —
will move us another step closer to achieving our vision for a greener
campus embodied in the university's Strategic Plan."
This solar project is the latest in a series of efforts the university
has undertaken in an effort to achieve its goal to become "widely
recognized as a national model for a Green University." In 2007 UMD was
one of 650 American colleges and universities that were signatories to
the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. This
commitment provides a framework and support for the nation's colleges
and universities to eventually become carbon neutral. As a signatory,
the University of Maryland is reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions from campus operations and moving toward the goal of carbon
Electricity from the solar panels will reduce UMD's carbon footprint by
over 600 tons per year, the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas
emissions from 64,000 gallons of gasoline per year, or nearly 1.3
million gallons over the life of the contract.
"WGES has a long history of introducing renewable energy solutions for
our customers," said Harry Warren, president of WGES of Herndon, Va.
"Our efforts to help customers find environmentally attractive solutions
for their energy needs are bolstered by Maryland programs and policies
that encourage, and in fact rely on, the competitive market to invest in
these clean energy technologies. The University of Maryland project will
bring our rapidly growing portfolio of owned and operated solar power
projects on the east coast to about 4 megawatts."
"We were thrilled to be able to bring much needed clean, renewable
energy to the University of Maryland, College Park through this Project
Sunburst grant," said Malcolm Woolf, Director of the Maryland Energy
Administration. "By investing in renewable energy resources UMD is
helping Maryland achieve its Renewable Portfolio Standard goal of
acquiring 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2022."
"As the region's leading solar developer and installer, we look forward
to our participation in this important project and contributing to UMD's
effort to become a model for what it means to be a Green University,"
said Scott Wiater, president of Standard Solar.
About The University of Maryland
The University of Maryland is rapidly becoming a model energy-efficient,
resource-smart, and low-carbon community. Recent successes in reducing
the university's environmental impacts including decreasing its carbon
footprint, increasing its recycling by 40 percent since 2003, increasing
the amount of storm water that is captured, and expanding sustainability
education and learning. Organizations that rate colleges and
universities on sustainability have noticed UMD's efforts. For example,
the University of Maryland ranked among the greenest institutions of
higher learning in the nation on the 2011 College
Sustainability Report Card by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
The Princeton Review included the University of Maryland among 18
institutions in the nation to make their Green College Honor Roll for
2011. For additional information, contact Lee Tune, University
Communications, at 301-405-4679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Washington Gas Energy Services
Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. is one of the largest competitive
providers of electricity and natural gas in the mid-Atlantic region and
supplies over 335,000 customers in Maryland, Delaware, the District of
Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Headquartered in Herndon, Va.,
Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas and a
subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). For more information, visit www.wges.com,
or contact Leah Gibbons at 703-973-7565 (office), 301-509-1508 (cell),
About Standard Solar
Standard Solar, Inc. is a leader in the full-service development,
construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric
systems. Since 2004, Standard Solar has been the partner of choice to
make solar energy financially accessible, helping customers through
financing options, including Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and
navigating expanded federal and state and local tax credits. Ranked the
73rd Fastest Growing Private Company in America in 2010 by Inc.
magazine, and the highest-ranking renewable energy company on the list,
Standard Solar is headquartered in Rockville, Md. For more information,
please visit www.standardsolar.com,
or contact Keira Shein at WilkinsonShein Communications at 410-363-9494,
University of Maryland
Lee Tune, University Communications
Gas Energy Services
Leah Gibbons, 703-973-7565
Source: Washington Gas Energy Services
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