Johns Hopkins announced a new solar project that will produce affordable and reliable solar energy to power to its facilities. The solar project, Johns Hopkins’ first, is located in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland and is expected to offset about 18 percent of the total energy Johns Hopkins facilities utilize. Installed and maintained by SolarCity with financing and management by Direct Energy Business, the solar power system will deliver the energy generated to Johns Hopkins for less than their current electricity rate, and provide a long term hedge against the rising costs of purchasing power.
Due to lack of roof or ground space on current facilities for such a large-scale solar project, Johns Hopkins chose a remote solar arrangement that could still provide its facilities with affordable power. The remote solar system is made possible through cooperation of PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity. Direct Energy Business already works directly with PJM on behalf of Johns Hopkins to schedule and procure wholesale energy, and will now secure an equivalent amount of energy as is generated by the new solar system at a low, predictable rate. The 13.6 megawatt solar installation will feature more than 40,000 solar panels across a 97-acre plot of land in Wye Mills, part of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland.
“We’re honored to continue our work with Johns Hopkins by providing the financing and management for this new remote solar system,” said John Schultz, President of Direct Energy Business. “As a total energy management service provider, we are able to offer an energy solution that helps Johns Hopkins meet its procurement needs while also hedging against future rate increases.”
The solar system is expected to avoid the emission of 1.4 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere over the next 20 years, which is equivalent to removing more than 313,000 cars from U.S. roads for one year. In two decades, the system will also produce the energy equivalent to powering more than 180,000 homes for a year.*
“Johns Hopkins’ solar project is not only a huge endorsement for clean energy, but also an incredible business decision that will help them save on energy costs for years,” said Jesse Jones, SolarCity’s vice president of development and acquisitions. “Solar power is one of the simplest and most affordable sources of energy. Even if roof space is limited, remote solar solutions can help organizations likeJohns Hopkins experience all of solar’s benefits.”
OneEnergy Renewables located the site and led the pre-construction development work.
“We’re proud to help a world class institution like Johns Hopkins benefit from the environmental and economic advantages associated with an optimally-sited solar project developed on the Eastern Shore,” said Travis Bryan, COO of OneEnergy Renewables and a JHU alum (SAIS ’11). “Consistent with a longstanding tradition of innovation, it’s inspiring to see Johns Hopkins blaze a trail for other institutions to follow in securing large-scale renewable energy solutions.”
The project is expected to be completed and operational within the first half of 2016 and will serve the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Campus.