Maryland School Goes Solar

Dorchester County Public Schools in Maryland unveiled a 803 kW solar array at Mace’s Lane Middle School.

The ground-mounted installation consists of 3,276 solar panels and will help provide power to the school.

Washington Gas Energy Systems will own and operate the array under a 20-year power purchasing agreement. Kenyon Energy and REC Solar designed and installed the system. Dorchester County Public Schools provided the property for the system.

Dorchester County Public Schools was the first school district in the state to use geothermal technology as a heating and cooling solution in its schools. To date, five facilities are using this technology. Other sustainability initiatives include the use of domestically produced natural gas for heating, wherever possible, and an energy management program that has saved the district over $1 million in avoided energy costs.

Maryland only recently passed a new aggregate, net-metering law that allows one solar system to serve facilities at various locations. Taking advantage of the new law, last fall, the town of Rock Hall, Md., opened its third new net-metered solar array, which was installed by Standard Solar and will be owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Systems.

In the case of Mace’s Lane Middle School, a Washington Gas Energy Systems spokeswoman said there won’t be excess power to be sold to the utility.

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