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County Officials Flip the Switch on the Largest Solar Energy Project in MoCo

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and other state and county leaders were in Boyds on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of the largest solar project at a County facility to date.

The solar panel project at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on Whelan Lane in Boyds is the largest solar project in the county is expected to produce 60 percent of the energy used by the correctional facility. Solar and other advanced energy technologies on County facilities provide energy independence, environmental protection, and cost savings.

“Montgomery County is making significant strides toward energy independence by generating clean, local, renewable energy on County facilities,” said Leggett. “Thanks to a public-private partnership, we are able to add solar to our public facilities at no upfront cost to the County. With these solar projects, we expect to save $15 million in electric bills during the next 20 years while achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Officials joining Leggett at the energy independence celebration included Maryland State Delegates Shane Robinson, Charles Barkley, and David Fraser-Hidalgo; County Council President Roger Berliner; County Councilmember Marc Elrich; Department of General Services Director David Dise; Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Director Robert Green; and Up-County Regional Services Director Catherine Matthews.

“With this project, Montgomery County continues to demonstrate leadership in renewable energy,” said Berliner. “We’re showing the promise of solar power in our community and saving taxpayers money while doing it.”

The solar project at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility includes two ground-mount and one rooftop array and is expected to produce 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, enough to provide more than 60 percent of the electricity used by the facility. This project is part of a larger initiative to install solar on other County properties, moving the County significantly closer to independence from both the power grid and the rising cost of electricity.

By the end of 2018, solar projects on County property are expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 1,000 single-family homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as planting 200,000 trees each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Designed with a 20-year, power purchase agreement at a low fixed cost, these solar projects give the County independence from the rising cost of electricity.

Montgomery County is also working toward even greater independence from the power grid by implementing microgrid projects at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility and Public Safety Headquarters. The microgrids will use a combination of onsite solar power and efficient generators to supply all of the power needed for these facilities, allowing the County to operate critical, public safety services without interruption even during major storms or disasters. The County’s solar and planned microgrid projects not only generate clean power but also take stress off the grid during extreme weather conditions, which benefits local and regional residents and businesses.


Top: Montgomery County Council Member Marc Elrich, Department of General Services Director David Dise, County Executive Ike Leggett, and Council President Roger Berliner pose in front of the solar panels at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds. Photo courtesy Montgomery County.

Next: County Executive Ike Leggett flips the switch on the new solar energy project at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Photo courtesy Roger Berliner via Twitter.

Next: The were more than 2,600 solar panels installed at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Photo courtesy Montgomery County.

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