Rockville Blades Ice Arena
- System Specs | 701 kW
- System Production | 865 MWh annually
- Environmental Benefits | Offsets 750 tons of carbon dioxide annually
The Rockville Ice Arena in Montgomery County, Maryland is one of the region’s largest sports complexes. And keeping everything on ice demands an enormous amount of electrical power—its largest variable expense—annually. As the costs of electricity continue to rise, the Arena’s tenant and owners needed to find a more economical energy source to power the facility.
The Maven Group, a Bethesda, MD-based company which is the managing partner of the Arena, decided solar power could be an efficient way to help maintain the ice while helping trim the operating budget.
But they needed a partner to help them execute the plan. They decided to turn to a competitive bidding process that would highlight the most appropriate and economical solution. And Standard Solar was selected for its solar power system plan.
Standard Solar proposed a customized design with 2,600+ panels situated across approximately 78,000 square feet of roof space. The Maven Group created an independent entity to purchase the system outright. The arrangement allows co-located sports facilities the flexibility to potentially share the clean, renewable energy source. The Maven Group earns one Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) for every megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity the system generates each year. The estimated annual generation of 865 MWh reduces the payback period for The Maven Group. With a new Maryland net metering law in place, any excess electricity earns credits that can be banked to offset future consumption.
The Maven Group’s foresight proved valuable. By fixing the cost of one third of its consumption for ten years, the Hockey Association that uses the Arena is able to serve hundreds more youth each year. In addition, the organization no longer needs to worry about volatile energy pricing swings for a portion of its load and has acquired the financial clarity needed to succeed far into the future.
At the time of its purchase in the spring of 2010, the Arena’s solar system was the largest roof-mounted solar array in Maryland. Its CO2 reduction offsets 126 average size cars, or 78 typical single-family homes. Ultimately, the vision of The Maven Group and the Montgomery Youth Hockey Association with Standard Solar’s help has provided clean, financially viable solar power. The solar energy system benefits the environment and sets the standard for renewable energy enhanced sports complexes.