The electricity generated by the solar panels is purchased by UMMS under a 20-year power purchase agreement with BITHENERGY. As part of its purchase agreement, UMMS receives Solar Renewable Energy Credits that help satisfy Maryland's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requirements.
The solar project was initially developed by BITHENERGY, Chesapeake Renewable Energy and Smart Energy Capital. Belectric Inc., provided engineering, procurement and construction services. Constellation financed, owns and operates the solar power system.
To date, Constellation has developed more than 30 MW of solar for Maryland customers, roughly 40 percent of the state's estimated 74 MW of solar installations.
The solar power system comprises about 15,540 photovoltaic panels, located on about 25 acres. The system is expected to generate about 4.7 million kWh of electricity during its first year of operation. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of 3,347 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 697 passenger vehicles annually, according to Environmental Protection Agency data for the region.