Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced a Solar Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with KDC Solar, Inc. that would cover approximately 30 percent of the total annual electricity use for County government operations, at no capital cost to the County and providing a total anticipated cost benefit of $1.2 million over the 25-year life of the contract.
“Amid challenging times for the health and economic well-being of our entire planet, today’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day serves as a critical reminder of the importance of creating a better, more sustainable world,” said Ball. “This solar power agreement allows the County to meet our renewable energy generation goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without any upfront costs. Moreover, this agreement provides job opportunities for training residents in solar installation, brings the Circuit Courthouse and East Columbia 50+ Center from LEED Silver to LEED Gold, and provides space for the installation of pollinator habitats under solar panels. This is a huge step in the right direction to make Howard County the leader in creating a clean and sustainable environment for all.”
Through the PPA, KDC Solar will, at no cost to the county, construct, operate, and maintain the solar panels and associated solar energy generation equipment at its sole expense. These solar energy systems will be on County-owned and non-County-owned property. The County then pays a per kilowatt hour rate for the electricity generated by the solar energy systems, just as it would to any other energy supplier.
The PPA includes approximately 24 MW DC of solar, which is expected to generate approximately 34,500,000 kWh per year. This is approximately 30 percent of the total annual electricity use for County government operations, and greatly exceeds the County’s goal to obtain 20 percent of the power needed for County government operations from renewable energy by 2024. Over the 25-year contract term, the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions reduction is 536,613 metric tons Carbon Dioxide Equivalent, which is equivalent to taking 113,931 cars off the road for a year.
A comprehensive overview of the solar PPA can be read at https://livegreenhoward.com/news/solar-ppa.