Johns Hopkins, SolarCity develop 13.6-MW solar project in Maryland

Johns Hopkins University, based in Baltimore, Maryland, on Jan. 7 announced a 13.6-MW solar project that will produce affordable and reliable solar energy to power to its facilities.

The solar project, Johns Hopkins’ first, is located in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland and is expected to offset about 18% of the total energy Johns Hopkins facilities utilize. Installed and maintained by SolarCity with financing and management by Direct Energy Business, the solar power system will deliver the energy generated to Johns Hopkins for less than their current electricity rate, and provide a long term hedge against the rising costs of purchasing power.

Due to lack of roof or ground space on current facilities for such a large-scale solar project, Johns Hopkins chose a remote solar arrangement that could still provide its facilities with affordable power. The remote solar system is made possible through cooperation of PJM Interconnection. Direct Energy Business already works directly with PJM on behalf of Johns Hopkins to schedule and procure wholesale energy, and will now secure an equivalent amount of energy as is generated by the new solar system at a low, predictable rate. The 13.6-MW solar installation will feature more than 40,000 solar panels across a 97-acre plot of land in Wye Mills.

“We’re honored to continue our work with Johns Hopkins by providing the financing and management for this new remote solar system,” said John Schultz, President of Direct Energy Business. “As a total energy management service provider, we are able to offer an energy solution that helps Johns Hopkins meet its procurement needs while also hedging against future rate increases.”

“Johns Hopkins’ solar project is not only a huge endorsement for clean energy, but also an incredible business decision that will help them save on energy costs for years,” said Jesse Jones, SolarCity’s vice president of development and acquisitions. “Solar power is one of the simplest and most affordable sources of energy. Even if roof space is limited, remote solar solutions can help organizations like Johns Hopkins experience all of solar’s benefits.”

OneEnergy Renewables located the site and led the pre-construction development work.  

“We’re proud to help a world class institution like Johns Hopkins benefit from the environmental and economic advantages associated with an optimally-sited solar project developed on the Eastern Shore,” said Travis Bryan, COO of OneEnergy Renewables. “Consistent with a longstanding tradition of innovation, it’s inspiring to see Johns Hopkins blaze a trail for other institutions to follow in securing large-scale renewable energy solutions.”  

The project is expected to be completed and operational within the first half of 2016 and will serve the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Campus.

Direct Energy is a leading energy and energy-related services provider with nearly five million residential and commercial customers in North America. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada.

OneEnergy Renewables develops utility-scale renewable energy projects across North America and is building a diverse, distributed solar project portfolio for commercial, institutional, government, and utility customers.

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.