Posted by: Ann Corcoran | July 8, 2012

O’Malley breaks ground for largest (German) solar electric generating array in the state

Update August 7th:  Art Callaham says solar facility if lovely in ‘Together, we are one.’  (Here)

And, it’s in Washington County adjoining the state prison at Roxbury.   If there are any would-be investigators out there, take note and follow the development of this project, you can be sure there is trouble ahead.

Will it benefit the German economy before it ever benefits ours?  Hmmmmm!

From the Hagerstown Herald Mail:

Under a broiling sun, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley joined a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday for what will be the largest solar power array in the state — and one of the biggest on the East Coast — when it is completed later this year.

The 100-degree temperature was “a reminder from Mother Nature that the sun is our most abundant resource,” O’Malley told an audience of about 100 guests sitting inside an air-conditioned tent before the ceremony.

Maryland has set a goal to produce 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources — solar, wind and geothermal — by 2022, O’Malley said.

“There is no other state that has declared so clearly the goals we share,” O’Malley said.

The $70 million project was announced in May 2011, when Maryland Solar LLC said it planned to build the 20-megawatt array on state-owned land near the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown off Roxbury Road.

At peak output, the plant is supposed to be capable of generating enough electricity to power 2,700 homes.

Maryland Solar LLC was acquired in March by First Solar Inc. of Tempe, Ariz.

First Solar will use photovoltaic modules it manufactures, a company spokesman said in March. First Solar has manufacturing facilities for the modules in the United States, Germany and Malaysia, he said.

While the number of construction jobs for the project was estimated at 125, “a handful” will be needed to operate the facility, said Maja Wessels, First Solar executive vice president for global public affairs.

You can bet if it’s a German firm doing the work they will use German modules (and heck, so many of the Obama-funded solar panel companies in the US have gone belly-up in recent months, maybe they can’t find American-made ones!).

Construction will be done by Belectric, a German firm, Wessels said.

The company likely will use a combination of locally hired labor and its own staff, said Rose Baldwin, Belectric’s director of human resources.

First Solar has a 20-year power purchase agreement to sell electricity credits for the project to FirstEnergy Solutions, which also would obtain the renewable energy credits for the project.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.  This will be fun to watch!

For those would-be investigators, go back to one year ago when State Senator Chris Shank questioned the state on its lease agreement, here.  You will see in this story that former Del. Bruce Poole is the attorney representing the solar company and that Hagerstown Del. Donoghue is crying foul over Shank’s complaints because of all the great (short-term) jobs this facility will bring (to German workers)!   In fact, they will likely bring in workers from third world countries!  Watch for it!



  1. Ok, this should be fun, but first, i have a few questions.
    1. Since when do privately held LLC corporations get to build their business on state-owned, ie. you and I own, ground?
    2. Its being defined as a 70 million dollar “project?” Not a profit making business interest? That partially explains the “LLC” part. Limited liability Corporation, so that when it fails, and it will, the owners of the corp. are not liable. Sweet!
    3. This $70 million dollar project wil be expected to supply 2700 homes? OK, i’m not very good at math but when I do it, it seems that its costing $25, 925
    per house, that probably uses $2500 dollars of electricity per year. No wonder its an LLC.
    I may keep my eye on this one. This can only get better.

    • Good questions Greg! someone really needs to keep an eye on this project, gather data and other information and keep it until such a time when it starts to unravel and then you (or someone) can supply the lazy mainstream media of the information they failed to follow and report.

      As for this garbage about public-private partnerships—it stinks! It’s a garbage notion wrapped in grandiose language..

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