Worton, Md. -- Today, the Kent County Commissioners, the Superintendent of the Kent County Board of Education, other elected officials and community stakeholders dedicated the largest aggregate, net-metered solar array on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Worton solar array, installed by Standard Solar, Inc. and owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), is the first public sector solar system to make use of Maryland's new aggregate, net-metering law that allows one solar system to serve facilities at various locations. Electricity produced by the array will be used at Worton Elementary School, Kent County High School, KCHS Radio Antenna, the Kent County Community Center and the County Public Works Facility north of Chestertown.
"The Kent County Commissioners are pleased to partner with the Kent County Board of Education, Washington Gas Energy Services and Standard Solar to bring this new source of clean, renewable energy to our schools and community center," said Ronald Fithian, President of the Kent County Commissioners. "Kent County is proud to lead the way when it comes to adopting solar projects and the Worton project is the first of several projects underway in Kent County helping us move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy while saving money on our electric bills. We are especially pleased to know the Board of Education will also use this as a learning opportunity for its students."
The ground-mounted system, which is built on land owned by the Board of Education, will provide an estimated 1,600 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable, emissions-free electricity annually to the five county facilities. The system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an amount equal to taking more than 215 passenger vehicles per year off the road. Kent County and the Board of Education will purchase the electricity generated by the system under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with WGES, with no up-front cost.
"Our participation in this large public sector, aggregated, net-metered solar project affirms our commitment to bring clean and efficient energy solutions to local schools and communities," said Harry Warren, President of Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. "We are pleased to add the Worton solar array to our corporation's growing portfolio of solar investments, a portfolio that not only supports regional renewable energy goals but is beginning to make an impact nationwide."
"Kent County is taking an important step to support clean energy and establishing an aggregated net-meter model that will demonstrates how communities can benefit from and utilize solar power," said Scott Wiater, President of Standard Solar. "This is one of many solar projects we are proud to work on in Kent County and we commend the Commissioners and the Board of Education for their environmental stewardship."
About Kent County and Kent County Public Schools
Kent County, located on the northern end of Maryland's Eastern Shore, is Maryland's smallest county by population, with just over 20,000 people living on 414 square miles of mostly rural land. Agriculture, the Bay, and nurseries play an important role in the local economy. The service sector, higher education, health care, and biomedical services are also significant employers. By supplying energy to Kent County High School (650 students) and Worton Elementary School (290 students), this innovative alternative energy partnership will help lower the cost and environmental footprint of educating almost half of the county's 2,100 students. For more information on the Kent County solar project, contact Wayne Morris, Kent County Public Works Director at 410-778-2600. For more information on Kent County Public Schools, contact Pat Severe at 410-778-7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For Kent County Tourism and Economic Development information, call 410-778-0416 or e-mail email@example.com. www.kentcounty.com
About Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.
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. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named WGES the Green Power Supplier of the Year in the non-utility category. Headquartered in Herndon, VA, Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). www.wges.com
About Standard Solar
Standard Solar, Inc. is a leader in the full-service development, construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric systems. Dedicated to making solar solutions more accessible to consumers, businesses, institutions and governments, the company is leading the way to energy independence. Committed to offering responsible and energy cost-saving solar solutions that conform to the highest standards, Standard Solar is one of the most trusted and respected solar companies. Since 2004, Standard Solar has been the partner of choice to make solar energy financially accessible, helping customers through financing options, including Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and navigating expanded federal and state and local tax credits. The company's Standard Energy Solutions (SES) division provides energy auditing and retrofitting services for energy improvement projects. Named one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America in 2010 and 2011 by Inc. magazine, Standard Solar is headquartered in Rockville, MD. For more information, please visit www.standardsolar.com, or contact Leah Wilkinson at WilkinsonShein Communications at 703-907-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org