OneEnergy seeks Maryland PSC approval of 10-MW solar project

OneEnergy Wye Mills Solar LLC applied Feb. 2 at the Maryland Public Service Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity on a 10-MW (ac) solar project to be located in Queen Anne’s County, Md.

The Wye Mills Solar Farm project would go into construction quickly after any PSC approval, with a construction peak in the summer of 2015. The project would cost between $20m and $26m to construct and would create 85 to 100 construction jobs. The energy would be transmitted to the PJM Interconnection grid through the Delmarva Power and Light (DPL) system at the Wye Mills T2 25 kV substation.

The project would utilize a single-axis tracking system designed to optimize the power production of the panels by rotating them to follow the sun. The tracking technology system, which is held on post-driven racking structures, varies by manufacturer but generally consists of a series of mechanically linked horizontal steel support beams known as torque tubes with a drive train system usually located in the center of the rows, dividing the array into sections.

The project site is approximately seven miles southeast of the Town of Queenstown and 4.7 miles northwest of the Town of Queen Anne. The site is located on Owens Road near the intersection with Queen Anne Highway (MD Route 404).

The company noted in a supporting environmental report on the project: “Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandates that twenty percent (20%) of Maryland’s electricity be generated from renewable energy sources by 2022, which must include at least two percent (2%) solar energy as stated in section 7-703 of the Public Utilities Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland (the ‘Code’). The RPS solar energy requirement increases each year from now until 2020 and the solar set-aside alone is projected to result in the need for at least 1,200 MW of solar capacity by 2020. The 2013 RPS compliance requirement necessitated 0.25% solar or 136.5 MW, which the State reached by hitting 158 MW of installed solar capacity by December 2013. Subsequent years continue to ramp up with the demand for solar slotted as 191 MWs for 2014 at 0.35% with further increases in later years. Construction and operation of the Project would add 10 MW of renewable, solar energy to the Maryland energy portfolio. Also, it has been reported that Maryland imports upwards of forty-one percent (41%) of its required energy generation. This Project will help to reduce this reliance upon power generated out of state.”

PJM Interconnection on Dec. 23, 2014, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission an executed Wholesale Market Participation Agreement with OneEnergy Wye Mills Solar LLC and transmission owner Delmarva Power and Light for this project.

A project contact is: Ms. Gia Clark, OneEnergy Wye Mills Solar LLC c/o OneEnergy Renewables, 101 Yesler Way, Suite 401, Seattle, WA 98104, Phone (206) 922-7075, Fax (206) 922-7079, gia@oneenergyrenewables.com.

The Maryland commission, incidentally, is also currently reviewing a November 2014 certificate application from affiliate OneEnergy Dorchester LLC for a 15.5-MW solar project in Dorchester County.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.