Baltimore-based Constellation Energy has been selected by the state of Maryland to develop an approximately 15.9MW DC solar photovoltaic (PV) power installation under the state's Generating Clean Horizons initiative. This installation will represent the bulk of a 17.1MW DC, approximately $60-million solar facility that will be constructed, owned, operated, and maintained by Constellation Energy on land leased from Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburg, Md. The system is expected to be completed by December 2012 and would be the largest solar PV installation in Maryland. Only two PV systems currently in operation in the United States are larger.

"Constellation Energy is pleased to be partnering with the state of Maryland on the Generating Clean Horizons initiative to develop new sources of clean power and stimulate the economy through the growth of the clean energy sector," says Mayo A. Shattuck III, chairman, president, and CEO, Constellation Energy. "This large-scale solar facility will make a significant contribution to our shared goal of a cleaner energy future."

Renewable electricity produced by the system will be purchased by the state of Maryland under a 20-year solar power purchase agreement (PPA). The system is expected to produce more than 21,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year and will utilize innovative thin-film PV solar panels situated on approximately 100 acres of university land. Under the agreement, Mount St. Mary's University will also purchase 1.2MW of electricity from the system.

"This unique partnership with Constellation Energy strengthens Mount St. Mary's University's commitment to the promotion and creation of clean energy," says Thomas H. Powell, president, Mount St. Mary's University. "It continues the greening of the Mount. Our students will be on the forefront of responsible land use and creation of renewable energy resources. Frederick County will benefit not only from our generation of clean energy but also from the reduction of dependence on more traditional use of coal, natural gas, and fossil fuels." The Maryland Energy Administration, in partnership with the University System of Maryland and the Department of General Services approved the award of four renewable energy projects under the Generating Clean Horizons program launched in February 2009 to spur the development of large-scale, commercial renewable energy projects like this one. Under the initiative, the state issued requests for proposals for long-term PPAs from renewable power sources delivering clean power to the grid by 2014.