Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maryland Celebrates “Largest” Solar Power Project, at Perdue HQ

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and other dignitaries celebrated the completion of one of the largest commercially owned solar power systems in the eastern United States on Friday.

The six-acre facility at Perdue Incorporated’s corporate headquarters in Salisbury comprises an array of 5,040 solar panels.

It will supply electricity to adjacent Perdue Corporate headquarters, and is the final phase of nearly 12,000 panels installed at two Perdue facilities.

The panels are owned by Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) and were installed by Standard Solar, Inc.

Perdue will purchase green electricity generated by the solar panels at guaranteed prices. The first phase of the installation is in Bridgeville, Del., and was completed in August 2011 (see this BrighterEnergy.org story).

Both systems will generate a combined average of 3,700-megawatt hours of electricity each year, or the amount of power used by 340 typical U.S. homes. At peak production, the panels will produce as much as 90 percent of the electrical demand for each Perdue facility.

“By demonstrating through smart, targeted investments that we’re committed to solar, we position Maryland as a leader in solar energy,” said Governor O’Malley.

“We also help attract green businesses to our state and make it easier for companies like Perdue to make the commitment to a long-term investment in renewable energy. The strategies we’re using as a state to advance the job-creating, planet-saving power of solar energy are helping us lead the way toward a greener future – right now, and in the future.”

Steve Schwalb, Perdue’s vice president of environmental sustainability, estimated that the clean electricity from the solar panels will reduce carbon emissions by 3,000 tons per year, the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 300,000 gallons of gasoline per year, or nearly 4.5 million gallons through the life of the 15-year contract.

“We are pleased to begin powering our operations with clean, renewable energy while lowering our energy costs, demonstrating that environmental responsibility is also good business,” he said.

Perdue is engaged in other alternative energy initiatives, including a biogas-to-energy project at its Cromwell, Ky., poultry processing facility and a biomass burning installation at its Cofield, N.C., soybean processing plant.

Additionally, the company is currently renovating its corporate office to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

“We thank Jim Perdue and his organization for their commitment to the environment and for their confidence in us and our partners at Standard Solar,” said Harry Warren, president of WGES.

“As a leading competitive energy supplier in the state, we are committed to expanding our solar investment portfolio here, and we thank the governor and the legislature for their continuing support for competitive energy markets that make these investments possible.”

SOURCE: http://www.brighterenergy.org/26920/news/solar/maryland-celebrates-largest-solar-power-project-at-perdue-hq/

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