HERNDON, Va., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kent County Commissioners and Board of Education signed a 20-year contract with Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), to build a 1,579 kilowatt (kW) solar array to power Kent County High School, Worton Elementary School and the Kent County Community Center. The system will be installed by Standard Solar and owned and operated by WGES.
"The Kent County Commissioners are excited to partner with the Board of Education to bring a major source of clean, renewable energy to Kent County," said Wayne Morris, Director of Public Works, Kent County. "This project will provide financial savings and additional energy security to the County and Board of Education, and will also provide a great educational component to the schools and students of Kent County. This is the first of what we hope to be many solar sites to service county-owned facilities and help us contain costs and improve our local environment."
The ground mount system will be built on 10 acres of land owned by the Board of Education and will provide clean, renewable, emissions-free electricity to the three county facilities. The solar photovoltaic system will produce approximately 2,100 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean electricity per year, which is the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 162,339 gallons of gasoline annually, or 3.25 million gallons over the life of the contract. With no up-front cost to Kent County and the Board of Education, the County will purchase the electricity generated by the system under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with WGES.
"WGES' efforts to help customers find environmentally attractive solutions for their energy needs are bolstered by state programs and policies that encourage, and in fact rely on, the competitive market to invest in these clean energy technologies," said Harry Warren, President, Washington Gas Energy Services. "The Kent County project affirms our commitment to bringing clean energy solutions to our local communities and brings our rapidly growing portfolio of owned, operated and committed solar power projects to more than 8,000 kilowatts."
Construction on the project will begin in November of 2011. The project is expected to be completed in late spring of 2012.
"We commend Kent County for taking this important step to support clean energy and establishing a model which will help other communities on Maryland's Eastern Shore utilize solar power," said Scott Wiater, President, Standard Solar. "This project is a positive example of environmental responsibility for the students and area residents, in addition to being a sound financial investment for the citizens of Kent County."
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 [email protected]. For Kent County Tourism and Economic Development information, call 410-778-0416 or e-mail [email protected]. www.kentcounty.com
About Washington Gas Energy Services
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 protected]. Media contact: Alicia Moran, 410-991-7027. 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 [email protected].
SOURCE Washington Gas Energy Services