Anne Arundel Community College Installs One of the Largest Solar Carport Systems on the East Coast

Standard Solar, Inc. installed more than 3,100 Suniva solar panels to create a 753 kW Protek Park photovoltaic (PV) canopy system in two parking lots at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) in Arnold, Md. Parking is at a premium at AACC so one of the stipulations for using solar panels is that the college would not have to give up any parking spaces. Using the Protek Park photovoltaic (PV) canopy system allows students to park under the panels.

ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standard Solar, Inc., a leader in the full-service development and installation of solar electric systems for commercial, government and residential customers, today announced construction of a 753 kW system for Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College (AACC). The entire photovoltaic (PV) system is being installed on top of a covered parking structure – the largest such system in Maryland and one of the largest carport systems on the East Coast. As a Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) Project Sunburst Partner, AACC received an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) grant from the MEA specifically designed for the development of solar electric projects on public buildings in Maryland. Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES) provided the balance of the financing for the project and will own and operate the system once installed.

“We see this as an important step forward in our commitment to cost-effective renewable energy. This system will provide about 5 percent of the college’s total electrical need, and we are excited to continue moving in this direction”

The entire PV system is being installed directly on top of the parking structure using a Protek Park PV canopy system. This system will consist of more than 3,100 “Buy American” compliant Suniva solar panels. Once completed, AACC’s system is expected to generate approximately one million kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operations, enough to power 100 average homes and the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from more than 77,000 gallons of gasoline per year, or over 1 million gallons over the next 15 years. The system is projected to save the college more than $300,000 over the next 15 years.

“We see this as an important step forward in our commitment to cost-effective renewable energy. This system will provide about 5 percent of the college’s total electrical need, and we are excited to continue moving in this direction,” said AACC President Dr. Martha A. Smith.

The system will also feature a complete monitoring system for the PV facility which will collect live data from the solar panels, as well as electricity generated, solar irradiance, PV cell temperature and ambient temperature. All of the data will be accessible on a website which will include system photos, historical electricity production data, carbon offset equivalencies and custom reporting capabilities.

“AACC’s carport installation is another example of how colleges and universities are taking critical steps toward energy independence,” said Scott Wiater, president, Standard Solar. “As a Maryland-based company, we are pleased to be helping Project Sunburst partners in our own backyard harness the power of the sun.”

AACC received a $750,000 grant from the ARRA to contribute to the financing of the system. WGES is providing the financing for the balance of the project costs and will own and operate the PV system once installed. WGES will sell the output of the solar panels to AACC through a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), enabling AACC to host the solar project without any capital outlay.

“WGES’ efforts to help customers find environmentally attractive solutions for their energy needs are bolstered by Maryland programs and policies that encourage, and in fact rely on, the competitive market to invest in these clean energy technologies,” said Harry Warren, president, WGES. “The Anne Arundel Community College project will bring our rapidly growing portfolio of owned, operated and committed solar power projects here in Maryland to almost 3 megawatts.”

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The AACC project is the second solar PV system developed by Standard Solar and WGES that is part of MEA’s Project Sunburst. MEA received significant funding through the ARRA to promote clean, affordable and reliable energy. As part of this initiative, MEA has set aside a significant portion of this funding to promote the installation of renewable energy systems on public buildings in Maryland through Project Sunburst. In order to maximize available incentives and limit upfront costs, Project Sunburst Partners will host renewable energy systems and contract for the electricity generated through power purchase agreements. AACC was one of 21 recipients statewide to receive the Project Sunburst grant and Maryland’s only community college to receive the grant.

Standard Solar provides a complete turnkey solution to academic, government, commercial, and utility clients interested in benefitting from renewable energy without having to outlay the large amount of capital required to design, engineer, construct, maintain and operate commercial-scale solar systems.

About Anne Arundel Community College

Anne Arundel Community College is a fully accredited, public two-year college offering credit programs leading to an associate degree, certificate or a letter of recognition. It also offers noncredit continuing professional education certificates leading to industry-recognized certifications. In addition, the college provides extension lifelong learning opportunities and noncredit continuing education courses to those seeking career training or retraining, adult basic skills or new areas of interest. AACC’s Students First!’ philosophy is visible from its state-of-the-art facilities to its award-winning programs taught to students in small class sizes by faculty members who are experts in their field. As a board member of the prestigious League for Innovation in the Community College, AACC exchanges ideas with leaders nationwide, as well as with local partners, to create programs preparing students to succeed in a global economy. Its distance learning and online programs continually win national and state awards for their innovation and responsiveness to students. The college has a new CyberCenter to coordinate training so that students can step into jobs created by the Base Realignment and Closure expansion of technical and homeland defense jobs. AACC’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Center trains students for careers in emerging industries, such as alternative energy and environmental engineering. Its Honors program allows students to work one-on-one with professors. The college’s agreements with four-year institutions provide pathways for students to continue their education. The college enrolled 24,750 credit students and 53,046 unduplicated continuing education and credit students in fiscal year 2010.

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. Ranked the 73rd Fastest Growing Private Company in America in 2010 by Inc. magazine, and the highest-ranking renewable energy company on the list, Standard Solar is headquartered in Rockville, MD. For more information, please visit www.standardsolar.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 over 335,000 customers in Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Washington Gas Energy Services owns and operates or has committed to more than 4 megawatts of solar photovoltaic projects at customer host locations throughout the mid-Atlantic region. 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, visit www.wges.com.

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