Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Solar Farm Grows in HoCo

On top of a former county landfill in Ellicott City a solar farm is taking shape. According to this article by Joe Burris in The Baltimore Sun, the 2,000 solar panels sprouting up next to Worthington Elementary School “will supply the school with solar energy year-round.”

Well not really. The roughly 600,000 hours of kilowatt energy produced by this installation will be sold on to the power grid. The school will receive renewable energy credits to offset their fossil fuel energy costs. In addition to the free land donated by the county, the project received a Project SunBurst Grant of about a half million dollars from the Maryland Energy Administration.

In other words, this little sustainable energy project is being sustained by a host of credits and subsidies.
Sadly, it also took away a walking trail that was popular neighborhood residents who regularly risked the wrath of the DPW and their No Trespassing signs in order to get a little exercise.

Of course this little solar demonstration project is also being touted as a learning laboratory for the students at Worthington. I doubt the curriculm will also cover the role of government subsidies in energy policy.
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