The District Court Multi Service Center in Ellicott City will soon be powered by (at least partially) by solar panels provided by Beltsville based SunEdison. According to this article in The Daily Record, the Maryland Department of General Services signed a 20 year agreement with the company “that will lead to the installation of rooftop solar systems on five state-owned building sites.”
The other four state owned properties are in Annapolis, Elkton, Glen Burnie and Baltimore.
I called my favorite energy guru, Bert Wilson, to ask him how the economics of this work. I couldn’t quite figure out why a private company would want to invest this much money on a relatively small solar installation.
“With the 30% investment tax credit for installing the solar panels and the renewal energy credits the operator of the solar system can realize about a 20% return.”
Bert went on to point out that one of the best attributes of solar systems is that they produce power at times of peak demand, like when the sun is shining on a summer day and the a/c systems are blowing full blast.
Thanks Bert for shedding some light on this for me and the readers of Tales of Two Cities.