Feb 12, 2015

Giant Solar Farm: Mount St. Mary's in Maryland

On January 7, I went with my solar team to the Constellation Solar Energy Farm just outside of Frederick, MD. The solar team consists of me, Celena (@wheresthesolar account manager), BJ (solar agricultural specialist and policy adviser), and Hart (comedic relief). Celena gets all the credit for pinpointing the farm on Google Earth.

It was an hour-long drive into the wilds of Maryland and suddenly, solar as far as the eye could see. The main solar array covers 100 acres or 76 football fields. There are 200,000 panels that crank out enough energy to power 1,800 homes.

According to the Mount St. Mary's website, "16.1 MW will be utilized by the state of Maryland while the remaining 1.3 MW of power will go to the University, primarily the Mount's PNC Sports Complex". As with a lot of large scale solar projects, most electricity is fed back into the grid.

Universities like Mount St. Mary's are prime time for solar because of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). There are 685 signatories to date, Mount St. Mary's included. ACUPCC is a great cause but they need to rethink the acronym.

If you do go for a visit to the Mount, I'd highly recommend Chubby's BBQ just a mile down the road.

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