The Solar Farm is owned by Southern Maryland Electrical Cooperative (SMECO) and went live back in November 2012. The solar panels convert sunlight into direct current, which is carried underground to power inverters, which turn the current into the power used for homes and businesses.
SMECO Solar Farm Numbers
- 1,078 fixed arrays (racks) holding 22 solar panels each
- These cover 33 acres of the 47 acre site
- The panels have a lifespan of 25 years and can withstand winds up to 120 mph
How is the SMECO Solar Farm helping?
The Solar Farm will generate enough energy to power 600 homes and offset the pollution of 1,600 cars!! That's incredible!
According to SMECO news, "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) with a 2013 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for its outstanding contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by delivering energy efficiency information and services to its customers. Over the last 20 years, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions."
Turns out, SMECO is now seeking second solar project proposals. The problem is that SMECO had already owned the site that houses the current Solar Farm, which is right next to power lines, and they received a federal grant. This time around they'll need to work a little harder to make it happen.
In the end, what SMECO is doing is great for the environment and our community. Kudos!