Upon its completion in December, a 2.1MW solar array in Pocomoke City, MD will be the largest municipally-owned system in the state. Standard Solar, Inc. developed and is installing the ground mount solar system at the City's wastewater treatment facility.
The 6,150 panel array, which is expected to produce 2.9 million kilowatt-hours of power per year, will offset 2,067 metric tons of carbon dioxide which is equal to the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 284 average American homes for one year or the annual carbon offset of a 1,639 acre forest.
"Pocomoke City calls itself 'The Friendliest Town on the Eastern Shore' and now thanks to the foresight of City officials and this innovative solar project, it is well on its way to being known as the greenest town on the Eastern Shore," said Tony Clifford, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Solar. "With no financial outlay required by the City, sizeable savings in electricity costs and positively contributing to its citizen's environmental future, more and more municipalities are seeing the short- and long-term advantages of going solar."
Total cost savings are estimated to be more than $52,000 annually. Electricity produced by the system is expected to reduce the City's electricity bills by more than $37,000 a year. Additionally, several local nonprofit organizations will participate in the City's network to reduce their bills by nearly $15,000 annually, including the Delmarva Discovery Center, MARVA Theater, Samaritan Shelter and the Worcester County Developmental Center.
"Pocomoke City is proud to be in the forefront of Maryland municipalities when it comes to solar energy," said Bruce Morrison, Mayor of Pocomoke City. "Our new solar system will not only help the town economically, but it also speaks to our commitment to environmental sustainability and will serve as an educational opportunity for all of us to learn about the importance of renewable energy."
State Senator Jim Mathias, who represents Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset Counties, noted "As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I work tirelessly with my colleagues and business leaders to help grow industries like solar energy. I am excited to see solar come to Pocomoke City, and am eager to see our citizens continue to benefit from the innovative approach of these and other alternate energy sources. Thank you to the great partners at Standard Solar, and I look forward to continuing to work with them; together we make investments and create jobs and opportunities in Pocomoke City."
"The completion of this large solar project in Pocomoke City will make the southern Eastern Shore one of the leading solar areas in the state," said State Delegate Norman Conway, who represents Worcester and Wicomico Counties. "These solar systems are helping our regional economy by allowing our local governments, educational institutions, businesses and homeowners to generate substantial savings on their electricity bills."
The project was financed through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement by SunEdison, who will own the array.