BALTIMORE, MD (July 12, 2012) - Chimes International Ltd., a leading provider of services and support for people with disabilities, announced it has activated a new rooftop solar system featuring 1,079 panels at the Terry Allen Perl Center located at 3630 Milford Mill Road in Baltimore County. The new system was activated at a dedication ceremony that included remarks from Abby Hopper, Energy Advisor to Governor O'Malley and Vincent Gardina, Baltimore County Director of Environmental Protection and Sustainability and officials from Chimes, Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) and BITHENERGY. The new system will provide 259 kilowatts of clean, renewable energy and is the second largest system Chimes has activated in the Baltimore metropolitan area in the past year.
"We are thrilled to be rolling out the second phase of our solar power initiative with WGES and BITHENERGY as our partners," said Marty Lampner, President and CEO of Chimes. "The electricity provided by the solar panels will give Chimes another predictable, eco-friendly source of power. Our commitment to environmentally sustainable practices is important to us. However, the financial benefits of the project were also a major determining factor. 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. With the support of WGES, we had no upfront costs to make this happen. It was a win, win, win."
In October 2011, Chimes activated three rooftop solar systems and one large ground-mounted system at their 12-acre campus on Seton Drive. The 3,000-panel, 670-kilowatt solar installation meets an estimated 60-70 percent of Chimes electricity needs at that location and is the largest solar system in Baltimore City. The Chimes campus is one of the largest nonprofit facilities in the United States to draw a majority of its electricity from renewable energy resources.
The latest solar panel system located at the Terry Allen Perl Center was made possible through the continued collaboration between Chimes, WGES and BITHENERGY. WGES financed and owns the solar array through which Chimes will purchase renewable electric power generated by the system. This is done through a 20-year power purchasing agreement. BITHENERGY designed, engineered and constructed the system and will handle its ongoing operations and maintenance.
"As a local retail electric and natural gas supplier, it is rewarding to see non-profits such as Chimes take advantage of Maryland's competitive market and its investment in renewable energy," said Harry Warren, President of Washington Gas Energy Services. "We are pleased to include the new Chimes solar system in the growing portfolio of solar investments at WGL Holdings, Inc., the parent company of WGES, a portfolio that not only supports regional renewable energy goals but is beginning to make an impact nationwide."
The Terry Allen Perl Center is a key facility for Chimes in Maryland which, over the years, has supported thousands of people with disabilities, teaching individuals skills and behaviors that have allowed them to move on to employment opportunities within and outside of the organization. The building houses Chimes Vocational Services, Liberty Club West and Supported Employment.
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 is taking a bold step towards reducing its dependence on the electrical grid by using renewable energy resources. This multi-phase initiative 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," said Robert L. Wallace, President and CEO of BITHENERGY, Inc. "Chimes has become a thought leader in finding innovative and creative ways to introduce renewable energy technologies into the non-profit world and urban environments. They could have easily chosen a number of companies to be their technology partner. I am humbled and honored that they have chosen BITHENERGY, Inc. and we look forward to expanding our relationship into even more advanced technology solutions to serve our community and enhance their business model."
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 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. 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 email@example.com.
About BITHENERGY: BITHGROUP is a successful group of technologically-based companies which include: BITHGROUP Technologies, Inc., BITHENERGY, Inc., and EntreTeach Learning Systems, LLC. These companies together provide innovative solutions in information technology, energy services, and human capital enhancement, resulting in the transformation of government, consumers, and the private sector. BITHENERGY is an affiliate of BITHGROUP Family of Companies and is headquartered in downtown Baltimore. For more information, contact R. Daniel Wallace, 410.962.1188 x31 firstname.lastname@example.org.