ForeFront Power and TurningPoint Energy recently completed four Maryland-based community solar projects: The Leigh Friend Solar Project this month, and three additional projects (Kingsville, Croom Road, and South Osborne Road) in late 2019. Together, these four projects created over 150 jobs and represent 9.8 megawatts-DC (MW) of solar power being delivered to over 1,300 households in Garrett, Prince George’s, and Baltimore Counties. This solar energy will provide tens of thousands of dollars in county revenue over the 25-year lives of the projects.
These projects were awarded to and developed by TurningPoint Energy as part of the State of Maryland’s Community Solar Pilot Program. ForeFront Power purchased the projects in 2019, constructed the projects, and now serves as the long-term owner and operator. ForeFront Power and TurningPoint Energy are collaborating on three additional community solar projects in the state that will enter operation in the coming quarters.
“As a long-time Maryland resident myself, I’m proud to play a part in empowering our state’s local communities to have a say in the types of energy powering their homes,” said Michael Smith, CEO of ForeFront Power. “Solar energy keeps Maryland’s air clean, while bringing jobs and economic growth to our state at a moment when this is needed.”
TurningPoint Energy and its partners have also pledged more than $90,000 in community investment to worthy food pantries, emergency response service providers, schools, fire stations, and police stations in concert with development of these projects. TurningPoint Energy has already delivered on $45,000 of this commitment to date.
“Maryland’s support of clean and renewable energy development is evidenced through its commitment to thoughtful solar development, net metering policies, and aggressive renewable portfolio standards. Community solar projects are particularly important to ensuring that all Marylanders, regardless of income-level or where they live, have access to the direct benefits of solar power,” said Chairman Jason Stanek of the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Beyond the customer-level benefits, these projects will also benefit local communities economically and environmentally. The projects have utilized various local expertise and labor during the development and construction processes, including local legal, consulting, engineering, and land expertise. During operation, many of the projects engage local electricians and landscaping maintenance providers. Additionally, ForeFront Power also planted pollinator-friendly ground cover at the project sites to foster habitat for bees, birds, small mammals, and other wildlife.
— Solar Builder magazine