Renewable energy is a natural fit for U.S. farms as they look for additional ways to manage their land for generations of production. The Fritz Family Farms, LLC in New Windsor, Maryland recently partnered with Standard Solar, Inc., a leading solar energy company specializing in the development, funding and operations of solar electric systems nationwide, on a 2.7 megawatt (MW) solar array on 12 acres of their 400-acre grain, hay and cattle farm.
“This project provides economic benefit to the landowner, operator and community while harnessing clean renewable energy,” said Jeffrey Fritz, Fritz Family Farms, LLC. “We have been using our own solar energy in our operation since 2014 and felt this was an excellent opportunity to diversify our income.”
Standard Solar, teamed with a joint venture comprised of Earth and Air Technologies LLC and Ogos Energy LLC developed and built the single-axis tracking solar array that is configured for Maryland’s Virtual Aggregate Net Energy Metering (ANEM) program, facilitated through Maryland’s 2019 Clean Energy Jobs Act.
“This solar project is a win-win scenario for all—it is transforming a portion of low yield land into 20-year predictable revenue for a family-run farm while providing affordable, reliable power to the region’s public water authority,” said John Finnerty, Director of Business Development, Standard Solar. “It also highlights how smart solar project siting practices can benefit agriculture, complement farm operations and land use.”
Standard Solar financed and will own and operate the 7,336-panel high efficiency engineered project that is expected to produce approximately 4,000 MW hours (MWh) annually. The power will be purchased by WSSC Water, one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation, contributing to its sustainability goals and adding value for their Maryland customers.
“Energy management is critical to WSSC Water,” said Robert Taylor, Energy Manager, WSSC Water. “Investing in solar energy pays dividends both economically and environmentally as it lowers our dependence on carbon-based fuels.”
WSSC Water has shared success with Standard Solar having worked together on more than 14 MW of solar PV now operational at their Western Branch Water Resource Recovery Facility in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the Seneca Water Resource Recovery Facility in Germantown, Maryland and two additional off-site locations. Combined, the systems produce approximately 19,000 MWh of energy annually.
About Standard Solar
Standard Solar, Inc. is a leading solar energy company specializing in the development and financing of solar electric systems nationwide. Dedicated to making Distributed Generation (DG) solar more accessible to businesses, institutions, governments and utilities, the company is forging the path for clean, renewable energy development through turnkey solutions. With more than 100 megawatts installed, financed and maintained, Standard Solar is one of the most trusted and respected solar companies in the US. Owned by Énergir, a leading energy provider with more than $5.8 billion US in assets, Standard Solar operates nationally and is headquartered in Rockville, Md. For more information, please visit www.standardsolar.com
About The Fritz Family Farms
Located in Carroll County, Jeffrey and Daniel Fritz and Jessica Little own and operate The Fritz Family Farms, LLC, a 400-acre grain, hay and cattle farm. The farm grows, wheat, soybeans, grass hay and corn. Jeffrey’s great-great grandfather originally purchased the farm in 1912. The family participates in the cover crop program, the Maryland Ag Land Preservation Foundation, and various other best management practices. In 2017, Gov. Larry Hogan honored them for their commitment to farming and leadership in preserving agricultural land and were presented with Century Farm designations for farming the same land for more than 100 years.
About OGOS Energy
OGOS Energy LLC is a Maryland-based renewable energy development company that focuses on “community scale” solar electricity generating projects. Its mission is to accelerate the development of reliable and cost-effective renewable energy generation assets serving the mid-Atlantic region in order to meet demand, contribute to sustainability of the environment, create beneficial regional economic activity, and reward its investors. The company has originated more than 6 megawatts of ground-mounted solar projects that are in operation and/or under construction, and has an additional project pipeline exceeding 25 megawatts. Ogos is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) co-founded by its CEO Michael G. Miller and Advisory Board Chairman, Lt. General Joe N. Ballard, U.S. Army (Retired). For more information, please visit http://www.ogosenergy.com.
About Earth and Air Technologies
Earth and Air Technologies, LLC is a veteran owned small business headquartered in Westminster Maryland. With over a decade of experience and over 30 megawatts of renewable energy systems developed, installed, operated and maintained, we bring the unparalleled capabilities of installing a small battery back-up system for a home to full scale utility photovoltaic (PV) solar system installation. Earth and Air is a certified Subscriber Organization in the state of Maryland with a staff of certified PV installers with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), Master Electricians and various equipment manufacturer’s installation and service certifications. For more information, please visit http://www.earthandairtech.com.
Wilkinson + Associates
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