Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) and Origis Energy USA announced the parties have entered into a PPA to develop the new Ripley Solar 27.5MWAC facility to be constructed on Ripley Road in La Plata, Maryland. The solar facility is expected to reach full commercial operation by mid-2019.
According to Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO's president and CEO, "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."
Slater added, "We're looking forward to partnering with Origis Energy on Ripley Solar. The amount of solar energy this project will produce nearly doubles SMECO's current solar capacity." Ripley Solar is expected to generate roughly 56,500MWh during its first year of operation, enough to power about 3,600 homes annually. An average SMECO household uses 1,300kWh a month and 15,600kWh per year.
"By purchasing more renewable energy, SMECO is demonstrating environmental leadership, sustainable energy generation responsibility and facilitating grid reliability," said Guy Vanderhaegen, Chief Executive Officer and President of Origis Energy. "We are most pleased to help SMECO provide its customers with clean, solar generated energy for many years to come."