Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides, Annapolis City Alderpersons, Energy Park Project Manager Ted Siomporas, and representatives from Annapolis Solar Park, LLC gathered at City Hall last week as the 20-year Annapolis Renewable Energy Park lease was signed.
Today’s action begins the process of developing the 16.8 megawatt solar photovoltaic project, converting sunlight into direct current electricity, on approximately 80 acres of closed landfill. The closed and capped landfill is located in the vicinity of Interstate 97, Maryland Route 450 and Crownsville Road in Anne Arundel County.
“This project has been a priority of mine since I took office,” Mayor Pantelides said. “This project is about turning a liability into an asset. This Park will turn a large plot of unused land into a revenue generator and a job creator.”
The project will be operational by the end of 2016 and is anticipated to generate more than $5 million in revenue to the city over the course of the 20-year lease.
Annapolis Solar Park, LLC is jointly owned by BQ Energy, LLC in partnership with Building Energy Development US, LLC. BQ Energy is a leading US developer of renewable energy systems built on closed landfills. Building Energy Development is the US subsidiary of the international renewable energy developer Building Energy S.p.A. Building Energy will also build and operate the plant through its Joint Venture with ABM Industries, one of the largest facility management services providers in the U.S.
Paul Curran, Managing Director of BQ Energy, stated “BQ Energy has developed several renewable energy projects on landfill and brownfield sites around the world. The Annapolis project, as one of the largest solar landfill projects in the world, will be particularly challenging and exciting. It will add power to the area power grid exactly where it is needed and when it is needed – close to electricity users and on the hottest of days. BQ Energy applauds the leadership and vision of the City of Annapolis in transforming this landfill property into an important clean energy resource for the future.”
“Locating the solar power plant on a landfill demonstrates the environmental leadership taken by Building Energy in the USA,” said Andrea Braccialarghe, Building Energy Managing Director. “Annapolis Solar Park is a wonderful example of the creative successes that can be achieved when a solar company and the city work together toward a common goal of making Annapolis a leader in solar energy. Annapolis Solar Park will help serve the city’s energy needs with a major source of clean, renewable solar power, generated on a site that may otherwise remain unused, decreasing the city’s operating costs while meeting carbon reduction goals.”
The City of Annapolis developed the AREP project using the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines. The city received support for proposal evaluation and other advisory support from Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Environmental Services, Maryland Clean Energy Center, and private subject matter experts in renewable energy technologies.
AREP, throughout its 20-year solar lease with Annapolis Solar Park, LLC, is expected to produce approximately 21,822,000 kilowatt-hours of carbon-neutral electricity, an amount that offsets the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 3,168 passenger vehicles. In other terms, this production is estimated to offset the CO2 emissions of 2,070 homes’ electricity use for one year; or approximately 12.5% of the annual household electricity usage within the City of Annapolis. Also, by converting the closed Annapolis Landfill to a solar energy park, the city is supporting the production of carbon-neutral energy, which will offset the equivalent amount of carbon that is captured by 12,334 acres of U.S. forests in one year.
This project, when completed, will be the largest solar project identified by the Environmental Protection Agency exclusively installed on a closed landfill in the United States.