Constellation Energy Resources completed the grid-connected solar generation portion, located in Cambridge, Md., in May. The company funded the project as part of a 25-year competitive electricity supply agreement designed to help the aquarium better manage energy costs and encourage the development of renewable power in Maryland.
Constellation owns and will operate the solar generation project for the entire term. Columbia, Md.-based groSolar built the array, which incorporates approximately 14,500 photovoltaic panels. OneEnergy Renewables customized the development of the Cambridge solar project and transaction to meet the aquarium's energy and financial profile. The system is expected to meet 40% of the aquarium's annual electricity needs.
The aquarium also completed the implementation of $3.7 million in energy-efficiency and water conservation measures, including lighting upgrades and controls, chiller and boiler replacements, building envelope improvements, updated water fixtures and controls, and transformer replacements, earlier this year through a 15-year energy performance contract with Constellation.
‘Thanks to our relationship with Constellation, we are on our way to significantly reducing the aquarium's carbon footprint,’ says Dale Schmidt, chief operations officer and senior vice president at the National Aquarium. ‘An added benefit is the significant cost savings that will allow us to dedicate more resources to our conservation and education programs.’