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Chimes International Activates 3,000-Panel, 670-Kilowatt Solar Panel Field on Baltimore City Campus

10/5/2011

Chimes will be home to the largest solar panel field in Baltimore City. Unique collaboration between Chimes, Washington Gas Energy Services and BITHENERGY will provide a reliable, cost-effective, eco-friendly source of electricity.

BALTIMORE, MD - Chimes International Ltd., a leading provider of services and support for people with disabilities, today announced the activation of the largest solar panel field in Baltimore City that will include three rooftop solar systems and one large ground mount system on their 12-acre campus on Seton Drive. The 3,000-panel, 670-kilowatt installation will meet an estimated 60-70% of Chimes electricity needs. Chimes headquarters will be one of the largest non-profit facilities in the United States to draw most of its electricity from renewable energy resources.

The project is unique in that it incorporates roof-mounted solar panels, ground-mounted solar panels, solar powered outdoor lighting fixtures and an electric vehicle charging station. It is also the largest solar project BITHENERGY has undertaken and can serve as evidence to other organizations that solar power makes good business sense.

The solar installation was made possible through a unique collaboration between Chimes, Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES) and BITHENERGY. WGES financed and will own the roof and ground-mounted solar panel installation through which Chimes will purchase renewable electric power generated by the system under a 20-year power purchasing agreement. BITHENERGY, a Baltimore-based technology and energy services company, designed, engineered and constructed the system and will handle ongoing operations and maintenance.

"The electricity provided by the solar panels will give Chimes a predictable, eco-friendly source of power for decades to come," said Marty Lampner, President & CEO of Chimes. "Chimes' commitment to environmentally sustainable practices is important to us; however the financial benefits of this project played a major role in determining that this was the right time to move forward. Instead of being at the mercy of a fluctuating energy market, we will have a firm handle on our energy costs on a monthly and yearly basis. Every dollar we save on electricity can be invested in serving people with disabilities."

"WGES is proud to support this Baltimore City project that brings us together with a minority owned enterprise in the solar industry and a well-known non-profit, to create a sustainable energy resource for years to come," said Harry Warren, President of Washington Gas Energy Services. "This project is a shining example of what can be accomplished working together for the common good. This is one of several Maryland solar projects WGES is supporting and we look forward to doing more projects with BITHENERGY and the non-profit and academic communities in the Baltimore region."

"If we, as a nation, are going to work our way out of the financial and energy struggles we currently face, we need visionary leaders like Marty Lampner at Chimes to take intelligent risks and to embrace innovation," said Robert L. Wallace, President and CEO of BITHENERGY. "Chimes is taking a bold step towards reducing its dependence on the electrical grid by using renewable energy resources. This project should serve as an inspiration to other non-profit and for-profit businesses throughout Baltimore and beyond that solar power is a practical alternative and can improve their bottom line."

The solar project is one of several eco-friendly initiatives Chimes has undertaken under Lampner's leadership. The agency has implemented aggressive energy conservation efforts at many of their facilities throughout Maryland, the mid-Atlantic and Israel. From weatherization projects, installing more energy-efficient light fixtures and appliances, to promoting energy conservation practices to employees and persons served, Chimes realizes approximately $80,000 in energy savings each year.

Chimes has also improved the fuel economy of their fleet of vehicles by transitioning to hybrid vehicles and high-efficiency diesel where possible, netting Chimes an estimated $5,000 in savings per year.

 

ABOUT CHIMES: Chimes Family of Services is an international multi-service agency delivering a wide range of programs, services and supports to more than 17,000 people of all ages and many levels of ability. Chimes employs more than 3,000 people. Our Family of Services includes agencies in six states, the District of Columbia, and Israel. We assist people with developmental disabilities, mental illness and other specialized needs. All of our services and facilities in the Chimes Family of Services are state licensed and accredited. Chimes International is the support organization for Chimes Family of Services and provides executive management and business support services. www.Chimes.org.

 

ABOUT WGES: Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. is one of the largest competitive providers of electricity and natural gas in the mid-Atlantic region and supplies more than 350,000 customers in Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Headquartered in Herndon, Va., Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). For more information on how WGES can make solar power a reality for you, contact Nate Greenberg, 703-288-3614 x29, or e-mail nategreenberg@wges.com.

 

ABOUT BITHENERGY: BITHENERGY, an award-winning energy services firm, provides engineering and technical services to assist government, corporations and residential clients in maximizing the business value and efficiency of each unit of energy that is produced and consumed. BITHENERGY offers clients intelligent energy management strategies, advanced information systems, and full implementation services necessary for managing energy consumption, smart grid infrastructure build out, and the development of renewable energy systems. BITHENERGY is an affiliate of BITH Family of Companies and is headquartered in downtown Baltimore. For more information, contact R. Daniel Wallace - 410.962.1188 x31 rdwallace@bithenergy.com.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Hombach mhombach@nevinspr.com 410.568.8802