Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) and Origis Energy USA have entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) to build the 27.5 MW Ripley Solar Facility in La Plata, Maryland.
Developed by Origis Energy, Ripley solar plant will start full commercial operation in mid 2019.
To help the electric co-op to fulfill its state mandated renewable portfolio obligation at the lowest cost to its members, SMECO will buy all generated energy, capacity and solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) for the next 25 years from the facility.
The facility, which is yet to receive approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission, will be located on the 300 acres land in Charles County.
The construction of the solar facility is anticipated to start in early 2019, creating approximately 150 jobs.
The Ripley solar facility will generate over 56500MWh in its first year, that will satisfy the requirements of 3600 homes per year.
Prior to choosing Origis Energy, SMECO assessed over 20 proposals in collaboration with National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO).
SMECO president and CEO Austin J. Slater said: “Ripley Solar is the third solar project that NRCO has facilitated for SMECO, and their expertise has been invaluable. Developing solar projects right here in our service area gives us a couple of advantages.
“Not only are we able to procure renewable energy to help meet state requirements, but we are also able to avoid costly transmission fees.The amount of solar energy this project will produce nearly doubles SMECO’s current solar capacity.”
Origis Energy president and CEO Guy Vanderhaegen said: “By purchasing more renewable energy, SMECO is demonstrating environmental leadership, sustainable energy generation responsibility and facilitating grid reliability.”