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Recently, state and local officials joined Howard County Executive Calvin Ball for a historic groundbreaking ceremony, marking the beginning of Maryland’s most significant solar power purchase agreement in Howard County. This marks the first of 11 solar projects that are part of the transformational Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) initiated by Howard County.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball was joined by state and local officials for a historic groundbreaking on the first of 11 transformational solar projects as part of Howard County’s Power Purchase Agreement

In Ellicott City, MD, state and local officials gathered to join Howard County Executive Calvin Ball in a historic groundbreaking ceremony for the first of 11 transformational solar projects, initiated as part of Howard County’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The agreement aims to generate an impressive 44,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, providing coverage for more than 50% of the County’s energy consumption, and having the equivalent effect of taking 6,781 cars off the road. Images from the event are available here, while a video of the ceremony can be found here.

The solar energy systems will be installed on both County-owned and non-County-owned properties. The County will pay a per kilowatt-hour rate for the electricity generated by these systems, similar to any other energy supplier.

Congressman Sarbanes, a prominent member of the House Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, expressed his pride in joining community leaders and residents in Howard County for the groundbreaking of this crucial solar energy project. By leading the way, Howard County can encourage Maryland to expand its clean energy capacity, reduce carbon emissions, combat climate change, and preserve environmental treasures such as the Chesapeake Bay for future generations.

Dr. Mary Beth Tung, the director of the Maryland Energy Administration, commended Howard County Government for demonstrating how to implement solar power systems across multiple facilities while working with the solar community to identify optimal locations. The Maryland Energy Administration is thrilled to provide funding support to assist the County in leveraging a variety of sites, including those with dual uses like buildings and parking lots, as part of its energy portfolio.

Eleven separate sites will host solar projects, including Triple Creek Farm, Clear View Farm, Rural Rhythm Farm, Circuit Courthouse rooftop and ground mount, East Columbia Library rooftop and carport, Gateway Building rooftop and carport, Carrs Mill Landfill, 50+ Center in East Columbia, Waterloo Firehouse, Scaggsville Police Station, and Detention Center.

Senator Katie Fry Hester commended the project, stating that it demonstrates the potential for collaboration and innovation to create solutions that benefit farmers, small businesses, and residents in Howard County. The project also highlights the importance of taking action to combat climate change and protect the planet for future generations.

Alan Epstein, the CEO of CI Renewables, expressed his delight in celebrating the groundbreaking of the largest solar project for any county in Maryland. He recognized County Executive Calvin Ball’s vision and initiative for clean energy, as well as the leadership of the Howard County Office of Sustainability. The partnership between Howard County and CI Renewables has resulted in 19 separate solar projects on County and private sites, providing long-term electric savings for Howard County with no capital investment required. This achievement is a true triple play, benefiting the environment, Howard County, and the local economy.

County Council Vice Chair Opel Jones emphasized the importance of reducing the use of plastics and greenhouse gas emissions in Howard County. He applauded the passage of Council Bill 17-2021, which positions Howard County as a leader in solar production in Maryland and the region.

Josh Tulkin, the director of the Maryland Sierra Club, praised the solar project as an exemplary model for the rest of the State. The initiative is a positive competition that helps reduce reliance on coal, fossil fuel, and gas power plants, which disproportionately harm predominantly Black and Brown communities.