BALTIMORE, Feb. 17, 2021 — ForeFront Power and TurningPoint Energy today announce the completion of four Maryland-based community solar projects. The Leigh Friend Solar Project was completed this month, and three additional projects (Kingsville, Croom Road, and South Osborne Road) began delivering power to residents 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.”
“These seven projects demonstrate the resilience of the solar industry and U.S. economy in these trying times and the importance of leadership in progressing the economy forward by the State of Maryland, Maryland Public Service Commission, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County, Garrett County, ForeFront Power, and TurningPoint Energy,” said Jared Schoch, president of TurningPoint Energy. “We remain committed to investing in Maryland and its communities through continued development of community solar projects, which generate tax revenue, create jobs, provide electric bill savings and allow us to invest in deserving local causes at a time when Marylanders need it most.”
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.
“There is no doubt that clean, green energy will be a huge part of the future and I’m happy to support efforts to diversify our energy supply. Equally as important are the well paid, long-term jobs that are created by this industry. Implemented correctly, solar energy is an excellent economic development opportunity for Baltimore County and I’m proud to have one of the first solar farms in the 6th district, with hopes of more to come,” said Councilwoman Cathy Bevins of Baltimore County.
“Garrett County has been pleased to collaborate with TurningPoint Energy to develop this renewable solar energy project. The County supports clean energy development and is thankful for the additional jobs afforded by this and future projects by TurningPoint Energy and its partners,” said Garrett County Commissioner Paul Clayton Edwards.
“Driving down electricity costs, creating jobs, combating climate change, and generating tax revenue are very compelling reasons to support solar. We have been impressed by the resilience of the industry and specifically TurningPoint Energy’s efforts to keep developing these projects, especially during a pandemic,” said Prince George’s County Council Chair Calvin Hawkins.
Community solar projects offer all the benefits of solar to those who are unable to install solar at their home. These projects enable individual households, whether they rent or own, the ability to source electricity from a community solar project at a discount to current utility rates.
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.