Town in Maryland Now 100 Percent Renewable Powered (Solar Thermal Magazine)
SunEdison in partnership with solar developer BITHENERGY, today announced that Columbia, Md. is now offsetting 100 percent of its energy use from renewable sources. Columbia receives 25 percent of its energy from the newly completed Nixon Farm solar project in the town of West Friendship and 75 percent from wind renewable energy credits. The Nixon Farm solar project is a two megawatt (MW) project develped by SunEdison and BITHENERGY.
The 2 MW solar farm is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 250 homes and avoid the emission of more than two million pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 220 cars off the road.
Columbia, Maryland is home to approximately 100,000 people, and is managed by the non-profit service corporation Columbia Association. The non-profit is purchasing the solar power for the community through a 20 year power purchase agreement with SunEdison. The solar farm is located outside of Columbia, and via virtual net metering credits the community can enjoy the benefits of solar without the need to locate the solar farm on-site.
“Columbia Association is proud to be a leader in clean energy,” said Jeremy Scharfenberg, Columbia Association’s energy manager. “The SunEdison solar installation is a key component of our renewable energy strategy, providing 25 percent of our power requirements. By supplementing Nixon Farm’s solar energy with wind-based renewable energy certificates, we’ve been able to achieve our sustainability goals and reduce our carbon footprint by more than half.”
SunEdison provided its high performance solar panels and financing for the construction of the project, while solar developer BITHENERGY originated the project with Columbia Association and completed the permitting, site work, and pre-construction services for the project. SolAmerica was contracted as the engineering, procurement, and construction firm to build the solar power plant to SunEdison’s specifications.
The operation and maintenance of the solar power plant will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.