Case Studies:

The Town Of Emmitsburg, MD

  • System Specs | 2.4 MW
  • System Production | 4,864 MWh per year
  • Environmental Benefits | 3,354 metric tons of CO2 annually |  377,403 gallons of gasoline consumed |  3,602,552 pounds of coal burned

Emmitsburg Leads County Toward A Solar Future

As one of the first settlements in Frederick County (one of original cities in the county after it split into three parts in 1776), Emmitsburg, Md., has a history of leading the region. So its decision to power 16 municipal buildings, including the County’s new wastewater treatment plant, with a 2.4 MW solar array surprised no one. Called visionary and innovative by county officials, Emmitsburg decided to power 91 percent of the town’s government buildings with solar energy. 

The Town of Emmitsburg wanted to put a 2.4 MW system on land abutting its wastewater treatment facility and use the electricity to provide the power for 16 separate governmental buildings. From a financial perspective, metering each of the small systems independently was a complex problem and virtually eliminated the town’s expected $50,000 return-on-investment (ROI) in the first year. Without a creative solution to this vexing problem, Emmitsburg’s dreams of reducing its carbon footprint through solar would evaporate.

But thanks to its financial and project-management expertise, Standard Solar was able to assuage the financial concerns of the town by settling on the best solution to maximize the town’s ROI.

Standard Solar’s industry-leading financial team sharpened their pencils and examined, in detail, multiple options to help the town meet its ROI goals. After exhaustive study, Standard Solar recommended Emmitsburg use a system called aggregated net-metering (ANM), the practice of allowing one or more customers to combine their electrical meters for the purpose of net metering, (often employed by local governments). Using ANM would allow Emmitsburg to combine all 16 electrical loads from multiple meters into one central meter, making it much easier for the town to collect the money from the utility for any excess electricity it sells back to the grid.

Furthermore, it reduces the expensive prospect of physically joining all 16 meters, instead allowing Emmitsburg to add up all electrical usage on one bill.

Standard Solar’s intimate understanding of Maryland’s legislative history and its policies regarding solar net-metering allowed the town to maintain its leadership position in the state and fulfill its solar aspirations.

The two-phase installation produces 4,864 MWh of electricity a year—the equivalent of 3,602,552 pounds of coal burned and 3,354 metric tons of CO2 saved. For Emmitsburg, home to many important National Historic Sites and several beautiful parks, the environmental benefits further its commitment to preserving both. As a bonus, the system will save the town $50,000 over the first year and $1 million over the 20-year life of the PPA.

Standard Solar was thrilled to have the opportunity to further the historic town’s commitment to sustainability and self-sufficiency, two critical values of the town since its founding. The arrays also help the county meet its goals for the Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program, which has committed the county to power 20 percent of its facilities’ power demand with renewable energy by 2022.

The Town Of Emmitsburg Solar System
The Town Of Emmitsburg Solar System 2

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