Last week marked a major milestone for the state of Maryland. Standard Solar, with our partners Konterra and Solar Grid Storage, were happy to officially dedicate the Konterra Solar Microgrid Storage system located at Konterra’s headquarters in Laurel, MD. The 402kW solar microgrid system, a grid-interactive energy storage system co-located with a new 1,368 panel photovoltaic (PV) canopy array, is Maryland’s first commercial solar microgrid system and is also recognized as one of the first commercial solar microgrids in the nation. We were joined by a number of special guests including Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff both of whom were in attendance to support the celebration of this innovative achievement in technology for the state of Maryland.
After a week of rain, we enjoyed a great solar day with our guests who were greeted by the large solar canopies as they arrived on site. We had the honor of commencing the ceremony with salutation from Kingdon Gould III, one of Konterra’s top executives, who welcomed our speakers and guests. The program proceeded with SSI CEO Tony Clifford hosting as master of ceremony – thanking the partners, talking about the history of the project and introducing the speakers. Governor O’Malley lead the group of speakers with great comments on the state of Maryland making solar energy a priority and the Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) investment in modern and innovative technology that contributes to the rapid increase of solar power on the state’s grid. “We invested in this project through our MEA Grant Changer Program because in Maryland we know that if we want better results, we have to make better choices. Better choices like making solar energy a priority,” said Governor O’Malley. “Since 2007, we’ve multiplied by 1,500 the amount of solar power on the state’s grid. In the process, we’ve created 2,000 new jobs”. The project also brings Maryland closer to reaching its goal of increasing renewable generation to 20 percent by 2022. Chairman Jon Wellinghoff supported the Governor’s comments stating the importance of distributed storage to the development of new resources to generate energy. “Energy storage not only provides substantial value to the electric grid, it makes the integration of solar PV and other distributed generation systems reliable, efficient and cost-effective as well,” said Chairman Wellinghoff.
After comments from all our speakers which also included Tony Clifford and Tom Leyden CEO of Solar Grid Storage, the group continued to tour the main components of the system. The tour consisted of three stops: The Solar Carport and Electric Vehicle Charging station, Inverter Enclosures and the Electrical Room and System Monitoring Station.
The system will offset the generation of about 20 percent of the annual building power for the Konterra headquarters and will also provide electricity for two electric vehicle charging stations and LED parking lot lighting. Producing over 516,000kwh of energy, the power is equivalent to the electrical usage of about 57 American homes for one year, or removing 90 passenger vehicles from the roads per year. The Konterra project is also a part of SSI’s two-pronged commitment presented at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting this year.
Overall, the dedication ceremony was a major success. Thanks to the planning committee team- Konterra, Gould Property, MEA and Solar Grid storage that collaborated to make this event remarkable and memorable.
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