Today, the Kent County Commissioners, the Superintendent of the Kent County Board of Education, other elected officials and community stakeholders dedicated the largest aggregate, net-metered solar array on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The 1.5-MW Worton solar array, installed by Standard Solar Inc. and owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Services Inc. (WGES), is the first public sector solar system to make use of Maryland’s new aggregate, net-metering law that allows one solar power system to serve facilities at various locations. Electricity produced by the array will be used at Worton Elementary School, Kent County High School, KCHS Radio Antenna, the Kent County Community Center and the County Public Works Facility north of Chestertown.
“The Kent County Commissioners are pleased to partner with the Kent County Board of Education, Washington Gas Energy Services and Standard Solar to bring this new source of clean, renewable energy to our schools and community center,” said Ronald Fithian, President of the Kent County Commissioners. “Kent County is proud to lead the way when it comes to adopting solar projects and the Worton project is the first of several projects underway in Kent County helping us move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy while saving money on our electric bills. We are especially pleased to know the Board of Education will also use this as a learning opportunity for its students.”
The ground-mounted system, which is built on land owned by the Board of Education, will provide an estimated 1.6 million kWh of renewable, emissions-free electricity annually to the five county facilities. The system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an amount equal to taking more than 215 passenger vehicles per year off the road. Kent County and the Board of Education will purchase the electricity generated by the system under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with WGES, with no up-front cost.
“Our participation in this large public sector, aggregated, net-metered solar project affirms our commitment to bring clean and efficient energy solutions to local schools and communities,” said Harry Warren, President of Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. “We are pleased to add the Worton solar array to our corporation’s growing portfolio of solar investments, a portfolio that not only supports regional renewable energy goals but is beginning to make an impact nationwide.”
“Kent County is taking an important step to support clean energy and establishing an aggregated net-meter model that will demonstrates how communities can benefit from and utilize solar power,” said Scott Wiater, President of Standard Solar. “This is one of many solar projects we are proud to work on in Kent County and we commend the Commissioners and the Board of Education for their environmental stewardship.”