Montgomery County officials Wednesday celebrated the completion of the county’s largest solar project—an event that marked the latest development in the ongoing effort to generate renewable energy at county facilities.
The new arrays at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds are capable of generating 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year or about 60 percent of the facility’s annual electrical usage. The solar panels were installed at two fields near the correctional facility as well as on the prison’s rooftop.
The county paid no upfront cost for the panels, which were installed through a public-private partnership with SolarCity. Under the deal, the county has agreed to buy electricity generated by the panels at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour over the next 20 years in exchange for SolarCity installing and maintaining the panels.
“Montgomery County is making significant strides toward energy independence by generating clean, local, renewable energy on county facilities,” County Executive Ike Leggett said in a statement. “With these solar projects, we expect to save $15 million in electric bills during the next 20 years while achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”
Over the past six years, the county has added solar panels to the Jane Lawton Recreation Center in Chevy Chase, the Silver Spring Civic Building, the Department of Liquor Control building in Gaithersburg and the Shady Grove Transfer Station in Derwood—as well as 10 other county facilities.
County Council member Marc Elrich, Department of General Services Director David Dise, County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council President Roger Berliner celebrate the opening of the solar array at the Boyds correctional facility. Provided by Montgomery County Office of Public Information.