BALTIMORE (April 22, 2013) - University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), Constellation and BITHENERGY today announced the completion of a 3.66-megawatt DC, grid-connected, solar generation project in Somerset County, Md.
In honor of the project's completion, a celebration and ribbon-cutting were held today as part of Earth Day activities at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Representatives from UMMS, Constellation, BITHENERGY, and state and local government were on hand for the event, including state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh (Baltimore City), and Ted Atwood, division chief of the energy office for the Baltimore City Department of General Services.
"The generation of solar energy, coupled with renewable energy credits, not only makes good business sense but exemplifies our commitment to innovation," said Robert A. Chrencik, president and chief executive officer of UMMS. "Making a positive difference in the communities that we serve goes beyond delivering excellent health care; we must also be good stewards of our environment and resources."
The electricity generated by the solar panels is purchased by UMMS under a 20-year power purchase agreement with BITHENERGY. As part of its purchase agreement, UMMS receives Solar Renewable Energy Credits that help satisfy Maryland's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requirements, and in the process serves as a role model for the adoption of clean, sustainable, renewable energy.
The solar project was initially developed by BITHENERGY, Chesapeake Renewable Energy and Smart Energy Capital. Belectric, Inc., provided engineering, procurement and construction services. Constellation financed, owns and operates the solar power system.
"The UMMS project is part of BITHENERGY's overall business mission to provide renewable energy options to healthcare, non-profit, and educational institutions throughout the mid-Atlantic region," said Robert L. Wallace, president and CEO of BITHENERGY. "I am extremely grateful that the visionary leaders at UMMS had enough faith in our team to entrust us with the responsibility to complete this solar power plant and have it available for their use. Our team of professionals - UMMS, BITHENERGY, and Constellation - is a perfect example of the good that can come when there is economic intentionality between public and private institutions in our State."
"Constellation congratulates UMMS for its commitment to sustainable operation and renewable energy," said Michael D. Smith, vice president of solar and energy efficiency sales for Constellation. "We're proud to be part of the UMMS project team as we continue to support solar generation in Maryland. To date, Constellation has developed more than 30 megawatts of solar for Maryland customers, roughly 40 percent of the state's estimated 74 megawatts of solar installations."
"Maryland's Eastern Shore is often associated with sunshine, and this solar energy project based in Somerset County demonstrates another facet of our area's contributions to the state," said state Sen. James N. Mathias, Jr. (Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties). "We are proud to be home to this innovative application of natural resources, which exemplifies how businesses in Maryland complement each other across the miles, from the rural farmlands and waters of the lower Eastern Shore, to the vital medical services and research occurring daily in Baltimore City."
The solar power system comprises approximately 15,540 photovoltaic panels, located on approximately 25 acres. The system is expected to generate approximately 4.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity during its first year of operation. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of 3,347 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 697 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA data for the region.
Participants in today's celebration also saw firsthand examples of UMMS sustainability initiatives via Earth Day exhibits at the University of Maryland Medical Center. UMMC's "Green Team" is dedicated to reducing the Medical Center's environmental footprint through waste reduction, energy conservation, healthier food, smart purchasing and greener transportation. UMMC's waste reduction programs have resulted in positive environmental impacts and costs savings. Many UMMS hospitals have "Green Teams" who implement programs throughout their local facilities.
About University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System is a 12-hospital system with academic, community and specialty service missions reaching every part of the state and beyond. UMMS is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, women's and children's health and physical rehabilitation. It also has one of the nation's largest kidney transplant programs, as well as scores of other programs that improve the physical and mental health of thousands of people daily. UMMS has more than 21,500 employees, approximately 2,300 licensed beds, about 120,000 annual patient admissions and gross patient revenues of $2.8 billion. Additionally, the Medical System generates nearly $4.4 billion in economic activity in Maryland. For more information, visit www.umms.org.
The Constellation family of retail electricity and natural gas suppliers (www.constellation.com), are subsidiaries of Exelon Corp., and are leading competitive retail suppliers of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States. Constellation's retail businesses serve more than 100,000 business and public sector customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100, and nearly one million residential customers.
Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) is the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with 2012 revenues of approximately $23.5 billion. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with approximately 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation's cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company's Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 100,000 business and public sector customers and approximately 1 million residential customers. Exelon's utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 6.6 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO).
BITHENERGY, Inc. is an award-winning, energy services company that provides innovative solutions for maximizing energy and operational efficiencies, while expanding energy sourcing options. BITHENERGY offers its government, corporate, and non-profit clients consulting services, intelligent engineering strategies, advanced information systems, leading edge business processes, and full implementation services for managing energy consumption, sourcing power purchases, smart grid infrastructure build-out, and the development of renewable energy systems. More than 30 megawatts of solar installations and Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems (HRES) have been completed or are under development for government, educational, and commercial clients both in the United States and West Africa.
Courtney Malvik for BITH