The National Aquarium today announced that it avoided the creation of nearly 4,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide during the summer months, thanks to the completion of a 4.3-megawatt (DC) solar generation project and energy efficiency improvements that are part of an innovative relationship with Constellation, a leading competitive retail energy supplier. These efforts provided the same benefit to the environment as removing 916 passenger vehicles from the road for a year, according to U.S. EPA data.
“Thanks to our relationship with Constellation, we are on our way to significantly reducing the Aquarium’s carbon footprint," said Dale Schmidt, chief operations officer and senior vice president at the National Aquarium. “An added benefit is the significant cost savings that will allow us to dedicate more resources to our conservation and education programs.”
Completed in early May 2015, the 4.3-megawatt (DC) grid-connected solar generation project was funded and constructed by Constellation as part of a 25-year competitive electricity supply agreement designed to help the Aquarium better manage energy costs and encourage the development of renewable power in Maryland. The system, located in Cambridge, Md., and designed to meet 40 percent of the Aquarium’s annual electricity needs, generated over 1.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity in June, July and August, avoiding the creation of nearly 1,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Constellation owns and will operate the solar generation project for the entire term.
“Constellation is pleased to continue to support the National Aquarium’s energy and environmental goals,” said Mark Huston, president of Constellation Retail. “Through a program designed specifically to meet its needs, we’ve helped the Aquarium save money, better manage its energy usage and demonstrate the importance of environmental stewardship to its many visitors. Together, we are on our way to creating a brighter, more sustainable future for the Chesapeake Bay region.”
OneEnergy Renewables, a leading utility-scale renewable energy project developer, customized the development of the Cambridge Solar project and transaction to meet the Aquarium’s unique energy and financial profile, as well as its stringent conservation goals.
“OneEnergy Renewables is proud to have developed the Cambridge Solar project with Constellation and on behalf of the National Aquarium, a legacy conservation institution,” said Bill Eddie, president of OneEnergy Renewables. “The project is a landmark in the evolution of renewable energy in the United States, bolstering grid resilience and reliability on the Eastern Shore, while providing a vehicle for an esteemed non-profit organization to benefit from utility-scale solar energy production and fixed-price electricity procurement.”
The solar power system, built by Columbia, Md. based groSolar, is comprised of approximately 14,500 photovoltaic panels.
“We’re proud of the job our team did, working through extremely challenging winter conditions to construct a top notch project here in Maryland that will provide the Aquarium reliable, clean energy for many years to come,” said Jamie Resor, CEO of groSolar.
The Aquarium completed the implementation of $3.7 million in energy efficiency and water conservation measures including lighting upgrades and controls, chiller and boiler replacements, building envelope improvements, updated water fixtures and controls, and transformer replacements in early 2015 through a 15-year energy performance contract (EPC) with Constellation. The water conservation and energy efficiency improvements, which required no upfront capital from the National Aquarium, avoided the creation of 3,075 metric tons of carbon dioxide in June, July and August of this year, and resulted in energy cost savings of nearly $60,000 compared to 2014.
Constellation is a leading competitive retail supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States. Constellation's family of retail businesses serves more than 2.5 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100. Baltimore-based Constellation is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion, and more than 32,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation's cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. Learn more at www.constellation.com or on Twitter at @ConstellationEG.
About OneEnergy Renewables
OneEnergy Renewables develops utility-scale renewable energy projects across North America and is building a diverse, distributed solar project portfolio for commercial, institutional, government, and utility customers. OneEnergy delivers advanced energy procurement solutions and sophisticated clean energy market expertise to help its clients meet demanding financial and sustainability targets. For additional information, please visit OneEnergyRenewables.com.
groSolar is an industry-leading large commercial- and utility-scale solar development, engineering, procurement, and construction firm with more than 15 years of experience. Since inception, the company has built more than 2,000 solar projects for a wide variety of customers, including government, commercial, industrial and utility. groSolar has particular expertise in building projects on top of environmentally sensitive sites such as brownfields and landfills. In addition to solar development and construction services, groSolar also offers Operations and Management (O&M).