SMECO Solar, a subsidiary of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, operates a solar farm in Hughesville to convert sunlight into energy. By harnessing the power of the sun, the solar farm, which sits on 33 acres of SMECO-owned land, uses 23,716 photovoltaic panels to generate 5.5 megawatts of electricity.
SMECO uses some of the solar energy to supply the needs of the Engineering and Operations Center, but the majority of the power is delivered to the grid. The state of Maryland requires all electric utilities to use a certain amount of renewable energy, and the SMECO solar farm helps us to fulfill that requirement.
The cost to construct the solar project has no impact on the distribution portion of customer bills.
- We used land that we already owned when we built the solar farm, so we didn’t need to purchase property.
- We received a grant of $6 million, so SMECO didn’t have to bear the full cost of construction.
In fact, the solar farm helps SMECO save on energy costs. Even when other energy prices go up, the cost of energy produced by the solar farm stays the same.
In one year, the energy from the solar farm offsets the amount of pollutants produced by more than 1,600 cars. The solar farm’s output in 2013 was 9,200 megawatt-hours, enough to power almost 600 homes.
Learn more about the solar farm at SMECO Solar.
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