BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County is aiming to slash greenhouse gases by 2030, and one of the first steps toward that goal will be to purchase solar-generated power from a facility on the closed Glen Burnie Landfill, County Executive Steuart Pittman said Tuesday.

Pittman signed Bill 19-22, authorizing the renewable energy company Ameresco to build a solar energy generating facility on about 20 acres of the Glen Burnie Landfill. Over the next 25 years, the county will receive more than $3 million in lease payments from the company and purchase solar energy. County officials estimate the deal will save residents nearly $3.7 million.

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The county executive also issued Executive Order 57, mandating that local government operations be run entirely by renewable energy in eight years.

“This landfill solar project is proof that clean energy is a sound investment,” said Pittman. “With this project, and the renewable energy commitments we are making in the executive order, we are saving taxpayers money and ushering in a cleaner and greener Anne Arundel County for all.”

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The executive order directs the county government to explore more partnerships with private companies to develop solar energy facilities on brownfields, landfills, and other county-owned properties; retrofit buildings to be more efficient; and use greener designs on new projects.

“The partnership between Anne Arundel County and Ameresco to develop and implement this combination net energy metering and community solar program will provide energy cost savings, leverage the use of an underutilized land asset that will produce revenue for the County, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change,” said Jonathan Mancini, Ameresco’s senior vice president of solar project development.

The County Council unanimously passed two bills paving the way for the project on the former landfill, one to approve the lease agreement and one to approve the power purchase deal.

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“The landfill solar project and renewable energy commitments position our county to be a leader in renewable energy policy for years to come,” said County Council Chair Lisa Rodvien.

CBS Baltimore Staff