HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s Public Service Commission has granted a waiver to a private firm that plans to build a $70 million solar farm on the grounds of a state prison complex.

Maryland Solar LLC Executive Vice President Jon Moore told lawmakers on Thursday that his firm got the waiver on Wednesday.

Maryland law requires an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity be filed two years before the construction of a power-generating facility. Construction must start by the end of 2011 for the company to access a federal cash-grant program set to expire by then.

The 20-megawatt project will need about 150 acres of the 250-acre site around three prisons near Hagerstown.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (7)
  1. Kevin Estis says:

    Very encouraging. How many homes will this power? And when will it be up & running?

  2. KottaMan says:

    If this project is anything like the windmills in western MD, this state will see NONE of the power generated there. It will be sold to the highest bidder which is usually NY-NJ.

  3. DB says:

    Wind and solar generate no ‘power’ in a reliable, usable measure according to modern expectations.

    On a power grid that’s balanced at almost 99% efficiency, dispatching a skittering, unreliable, unpredictable source makes no sense. Since you never know how much ‘power’ at any given time a renewable plant might send, traditional generation must be available immediately to provide reliable, modern power. If you look at this issue objectively, and learn how power grids and power generation plants work, you will soon realize that more renewables actually mean more traditional generation, i.e. natural gas and <> coal.

    Renewable plants are built for tax benefits. If such benefits were indexed to actual performance, no one would build them at all.

  4. Kevin Estis says:

    My guess is that DB is a spokesman for the coal or natural gas industry to say what he is saying.
    Despite all of the information to the contrary about the power being generated thru solar & wind, to deny that Germany gets 15-20% of it’s electricity thru these means & the fact that Denmark has been at this for over 30 years is just plain laughable. Greeks & Israelis have had solar hot water heaters on their roofs for many years.

    When hurricane Isabel hit Baltimore people were calling into a local radio program. The only person who claimed to have power at his house was one who had solar.
    So DB, if you choose to believe that solar & wind are not reliable, I would advise you to read more often all the coverage of those technologies. More & more of these facilities are coming on board. Because they WORK. Tax benefits, heck even the oil companies get those. And you know they REALLY need them too. We’ll agree on natural gas if there’s a way to do it safely, without polluting people’s water.(fracking)

    1. DB says:

      I am a proponent only of informed public policy.

      If those technologies WORK, then why has not one coal plant closed anywhere in the world because of renewables? Please point me to data which backs up your claims that Germany gets 15-20% of its electricity from solar and wind. And then, please point me to data which supports that Denmark does the same.


  5. Kevin Estis says:

    Much of the information I got has come from Newsweek over the last 5-10 yrs., plus interviews I’ve heard with people working inside the industry, from the Associated Press, Mother Jones Magazine & numerous other credible sources.(not blogs)
    You can do plenty of research on line. Or at a library.
    Coal has deep roots & deep pockets to buy politicians. It’s not going away anytime soon. Not because solar or wind or natural gas couldn’t replace it, but because of special interest groups protecting the status quo.
    Seriously do some reading about these technologies if you don’t think they work.
    These are not new things. Whole Foods is powered by wind/solar, Kohl’s Dept. stores gets energy from wind/solar. I read about some Walmart’s in Texas that provide electricity to neighborhoods around them from solar panels on their roofs. Plenty of info. out there.

    1. DB says:

      Yes, very true, there is a lot of info out there, both pro and con. I used to be a supporter of renewables. On the surface who wouldn’t be?

      Many years ago I got involved with an environmental group who were upset about bird and bat kills at wind plants. Back then that was the issue of the day. I started to learn more about the technology, and broke away from focusing on just the wildlife issues. I learned how electric grids work, and how power plants work, and how it is that whenever we need power it’s there in the wall socket. During the journey I found much more ‘demonstrable’ evidence against the success of renewables. I remember once, in a Maryland PSC hearing regarding the then proposed plant in Garrett County, where someone asked what happens if none of the promises of the wind developer come to pass? The response: silence.

      The sources you mention are interesting reads, but I wouldn’t call any of them credible, especially industry sources. Did you know that one of the biggest owners of wind plants are coal companies? Why would that be?

      One good turn deserves another. Here’s a really good essay if you’re interested in learning more about how renewables actually work, and there are links to many other sources of repeatable, pier reviewed studies. http://www.masterresource.org/2011/01/wind-howlers-part-i/


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