Dorchester County Public Schools will unveil its 803-kilowatt solar array at Mace’s Lane Middle School this morning at a recognition ceremony with representatives from Washington Gas Energy Systems, Kenyon Energy, REC Solar and the local community. The ground-mounted installation consists of 3,276 solar panels and is expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to the planting of more than 35,000 pine trees or avoiding the use of 1,780,000 gallons of gasoline over 20 years. “The completion of this project means that Mace’s Lane Middle School will be powered by clean, renewable energy for the foreseeable future,” said Dorchester County Public Schools Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr. “Beyond the environmental impact, it presents a unique learning opportunity for students throughout the school district to get a hands-on lesson in green power and innovation.” Washington Gas Energy Systems will own and operate the array under a 20-year power purchasing agreement. Kenyon Energy and REC Solar designed and installed the system. Dorchester County Public Schools provided the property for the system. The expected annual output of 1,108 megawatt hours will help provide power to Mace’s Lane Middle School. “We were thrilled to work with Dorchester County Public Schools and continue to build upon renewable energy initiatives throughout Maryland,” said Sanjiv Mahan, vice president of business development for Washington Gas Energy Systems. “This solar array promises to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and utility costs over the next two decades.” Dorchester County Public Schools has long been a pioneer in environmental sustainability and stewardship of natural resources. Dorchester was the first school district in the state to use geothermal technology as a heating and cooling solution in its schools. To date, five facilities are using this innovative technology. Additionally, Dorchester County Public Schools has successfully led an effort to implement single stream recycling at all its district sites, cutting waste stream and hauling costs, supporting the use of renewable resources and extending the life of the county landfill. Other sustainability initiatives include the use of abundant, domestically produced natural gas for heating, wherever possible, and an energy management program that has saved the district over $1 million in avoided energy costs. Currently, the district is researching how to implement a green cleaning strategy to continue to support clean schools while further enhancing the learning environment for all facility users.
“This project advances Kenyon Energy’s mission to make sustainable energy an accessible option throughout Maryland,” said Michael Dykstra, senior vice president at Kenyon Energy. “Working with a visionary school board like Dorchester County’s brings that mission to fruition in a very satisfying way.”Over the past four years, WGL Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Washington Gas Energy Systems, has invested more than $150 million into the development of commercial solar and alternative energy investments nationwide. “Working with the team from Dorchester County Public Schools, Washington Gas Energy Systems, and Kenyon Energy resulted in a chance for local students to take a look at renewable energy at its best,” said Ken Lazorchak, regional commercial sales representative for REC Solar. About Dorchester County Public Schools: Dorchester County Public Schools is one of 24 Maryland Public School systems and is located in the central part of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. There are approximately 4,650 students who are educated in six elementary schools, one elementary/middle school, two middle schools, two high schools, one career-tech center and an early childhood center. The school system, headed by a five member elected Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools, Henry V. Wagner, Jr. Ed.D, is one of the largest employers in Dorchester County with over 700 full time employees and a total operating budget for FY 2013 of $51.8 million. For more information on Dorchester County Public Schools contact Ms. Chris Dayton, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, 410-221-1111, Ext. 1002, or email@example.com. About Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc.: Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., an affiliate of Washington Gas Light Company and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL), design-builds and owns custom energy solutions that deliver financial, operational and carbon reduction results for non-residential customers across the United States. Washington Gas Energy Systems is focused on federal energy efficiency projects and commercial distributed generation assets including solar. For more information on how Washington Gas Energy Systems can make solar power a reality for you, contact Nate Greenberg, 703-288-3614 x29, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. About Kenyon Energy, LLC: Through its nation-wide funding, development and operation of commercial scale solar power facilities, Kenyon Energy provides cost effective renewable energy solutions to offset a host’s traditional energy consumption. By offering fully funded, turnkey renewable power solutions, Kenyon Energy helps make solar and other alternative power sources realistic alternatives for public and private sector entities. The company provides funding, ownership, and ongoing operational support for systems ranging in size up to 20 MW. For more information, call Mike Dykstra at (727) 608-1019 or email him at email@example.com. About REC Solar: REC Solar, Inc., a subsidiary of Mainstream Energy Corporation, is a national leader in solar electric system design and installation. Focused on making solar affordable and simple, REC Solar specializes in residential, business, government and utility projects, offering a local presence in all major solar markets in the U.S. By providing innovative products, efficient processes, and integrated services, REC Solar is committed to delivering high-quality systems while lowering the cost of solar power for all. In 15 years of business, REC Solar has installed more than 9,000 systems nationwide in excess of 100 megawatts. For more, call (888) 657-6527.