Presbyterian Senior Living will unveil its 1,230-kilowatt (kW) solar array at Glen Meadows Retirement Community in Glen Arm, Md. in a ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow with representatives from Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., ABM, Building Energy, Sol Systems, and Clark EcoEnergy.
The ground-mounted solar array will be owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Systems under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Washington Gas Energy Systems is a subsidiary of WGL which offers a diverse set of energy sources including natural gas, wind, and solar as well as a range of energy solutions – generation, storage, transportation, distribution, supply, and efficiency – and serves customers in more than 25 states.
“The completion of the Presbyterian Senior Living solar project at Glen Meadows Retirement Community is a major milestone for Washington Gas Energy Systems as we now own and operate approximately 17 megawatts throughout the state of Maryland,” said Sanjiv Mahan, chief operating officer of Washington Gas Energy Systems. “Through our unique financing model, we continue to make solar power accessible to businesses, municipalities and school systems. Our commitment to bringing renewable energy to organizations in the state and across the country is unwavering.”
The 1,230-kilowatt ground-mounted system is comprised of 4,180 solar panels. It is expected to generate approximately 1,680 megawatt (MW) hours of solar energy per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 244 cars off the road each year.
“At no up front cost to Presbyterian Senior Living, this project will reduce the carbon footprint of Glen Meadows Retirement Community while improving our bottom line,” said Steve Proctor, chief executive officer of Presbyterian Senior Living. “As a not-for-profit organization, we look forward to reliable clean energy costs over the next two decades, which will help us direct funds to the health and wellbeing of our residents.”
Sol Systems, a solar energy finance firm based in Washington, D.C., acted as investment advisor to Washington Gas Energy Systems in the transaction. Sol Systems originated the project opportunity from Building Energy, an Italian-based independent power producer. Building Energy developed the project opportunity through a joint venture with ABM, which handled the engineering, procurement and construction.
“We are committed to streamlining the investment process for distributed generation solar projects such as the one at Presbyterian Senior Living,” said Yuri Horwitz, chief executive officer of Sol Systems. “The Sol Systems team is proud to work with a financing partner like Washington Gas Energy Systems to drive investment into the mid-sized commercial solar market at Glen Meadows Retirement Community and similar facilities across the country.”
The solar array is one of several ways that Presbyterian Senior Living is reducing the organization’s carbon footprint, with other initiatives including the installation of energy tracking software, low flow showerheads and toilets, high-energy windows and energy-efficient heating and cooling units.
“At Clark EcoEnergy, we are committed to bringing commercial solar energy solutions to businesses, organizations and communities across the Mid-Atlantic,” said Chris Ichter, director of operations of Clark EcoEnergy. “Presbyterian Senior Living can now look forward to controlled energy costs and a more stable operating budget at Glen Meadows Retirement Community.”
Washington Gas Energy Systems now owns 14 solar projects in Maryland, including a 1.26 MW solar array developed for Kent County, an 803 kW system at Mace’s Lane Middle School in Dorchester County and two 2.5-MW projects built for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.