Baltimore County is installing solar panels in parks and landfills - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Aug. 30, 2016 12:39 pm

Baltimore County is installing solar panels in parks and landfills

The SolarCity operation will generate 20 percent of the county government's electricity, officials say.

Solar panels.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

SolarCity is set to become part of Baltimore County.

The solar energy company chaired by Elon Musk is set to construct ground-mounted panels on four public properties over the next two years, the County announced Monday.

The panels, which SolarCity will own, are slated to be installed at the following locations:

  • The former Hernwood landfill
  • The former Parkton landfill
  • Mount Vista Park in Kingsville
  • Southwest Area Regional Park in Landsdowne

Three of the four projects will be completed in 2017. In all, the panels will produce 21 megawatts. Officials expect the panels to account for more than 20 percent of the county government’s electricity. The county also set a goal of reducing overall electricity use in government buildings by 15 percent over the next five years.

SolarCity locations. (Image via Baltimore County)

SolarCity locations. (Image via Baltimore County)

Under the 20-year agreement that piggybacks off an existing contract with Montgomery County, Baltimore County will purchase the electricity at a reduced rate. Officials believe it will save $450,000 in the first year.

“We hope other counties and towns across the nation take note of the tremendous steps Baltimore County has taken to support renewable energy,” SolarCity Senior Project Development Manager Brent Eskay said in a statement.

That sentiment runs deeper than just Monday’s announcement. After complaints and lobbying from the company and other solar providers about residential regulations in 2015, the County made rule changes allowing more panels to be installed on rooftops, and opened up $500,000 more in tax credits, the Baltimore Sun reported.

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SolarCity has a two-year-old operations center in Hunt Valley, and opened a distribution center in the Lakeland area in October 2015.

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Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A graduate of Northeastern University, he moved to Baltimore following a stint in New Orleans, where he served as managing editor of online news and culture publication NOLA Defender. While there, he also wrote for NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune. He was previously a reporter for the Rio Grande Sun of Northern New Mexico.

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