Annapolis breaks ground on new energy park

| November 2, 2017
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Photo: City of Annapolis Facebook

Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides, County Executive Steve Schuh, and representatives from Annapolis Solar Park, LLC joined to break ground on the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park today.

“The power has been purchased, the job fairs were successful, the solar panels have been ordered, local minority, veteran, and women owned small businesses have been contracted, and now it’s about putting those 100+ green jobs to work and seeing the financial benefits to the city over the next 20 years,” Mayor Pantelides said.
The solar project will use more than 50,000 panels to convert sunlight into electricity on approximately 80 acres of the closed and capped Annapolis landfill, located in the vicinity of Interstate 97, Maryland Route 450 and Crownsville Road in Anne Arundel County.
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“This energy park will ensure County government sees real energy cost savings over the next decade,” said County Executive Schuh. “It is another example of how our partnership with the City of Annapolis will benefit taxpayers.”
During the event, Mayor Pantelides announced several subcontracts that have been awarded to local firms. They include:
  • Powercon Corporation, a woman-owned company in Severn, MD  will design, manufacture, and install seven medium voltage separate switchgear stations (a combination of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers, metering, and control equipment), enclosed in multi-bay weatherproof outdoor cabinets.  These will be the most technically advanced components of the Annapolis solar facility.
  • Rommel Construction, located in Linthicum, MD will perform electrical work including medium voltage and low voltage AC, DC electrical, and electrical equipment placement and terminations and testing.
  • Reliable Contracting Company, out of Gambrills, MD will perform civil and site work, including new roads on the site, erosion control, and the electrical medium voltage ducts.
  • McCrone, a woman-managed company in Annapolis, MD was involved in the initial part of planning and surveying for site development.
  • ARM Group, based in Columbia MD will oversee land planning and surveying work.
  • McCauley Lyman, located in Edgewater, MD will be responsible for regulatory review and renewable energy legal services.
The Annapolis Renewable Energy Park lease was signed by Annapolis Solar Park, LLC, which is jointly owned by BQ Energy, LLC and Building Energy Development US, LLC., and the City on August 3, 2015.  The City of Annapolis owns the landfill where the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park will be located, and Annapolis Solar Park LLC holds a long-term lease on the property.
BQ Energy is a leading US developer of renewable energy systems built on closed landfills.  Building Energy is a multinational company operating as a Globally Integrated IPP (Independent Power Producer) in the Renewable Energy Industry. Building Energy owns the power plant and will operate the facility.
“We applaud the leadership of Mayor Pantelides to use vacant, unusable space for the benefit of the community” said Paul Curran, Managing Director of BQ Energy.  “By thinking outside the box the city earns revenue by leasing the landfill to Annapolis Solar Park, saves money by purchasing some of the electricity at a rate less than what they were paying and puts local businesses to work on the project.  Well done.”
Andrea Braccialarghe, Managing Director North America of Building Energy, stated “We are proud to begin construction of the solar park and to celebrate it with the representatives from the Annapolis community. Building Energy, as owner of the entire solar asset, funded the development costs of the project, is responsible for the construction and operation of the facility and arranged a 36-million-dollar financial transaction through one of the largest financial services corporations in the US. This project represents a new success for our company, which is active along the entire chain of the renewable energy industry, from the development to the operation of renewable energy assets, in US and abroad.”
The City of Annapolis developed the AREP project using EPA’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.
In July of 2017, the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and Anne Arundel County Board of Education signed the power purchase agreements for the solar energy, which will be used to power City, County and school buildings and operations.  Annapolis Solar Park LLC will be installing a solar system of 18 MW DC.  Of this total production capacity, Anne Arundel County is purchasing 50%, the City of Annapolis is purchasing 33%, and the Anne Arundel County Board of Education is purchasing the remaining 17%.
This project, when completed, will be the largest solar project exclusively installed on a closed landfill in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The construction phase of the project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018.  groSolar, based in Columbia, is the primary engineering, procurement, and construction firm for this cutting-edge solar project.
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