The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) today inaugurated a 2.2-megawatt (MW) solar farm that will meet 15 percent of campus electricity needs.
Covering 17 acres of land previously used for agricultural research, the 7,800-panel solar array is the "largest concentration of photovoltaic modules on one site" in all of Maryland, according to the press release. In its first year of operation, it should generate 3.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) -- roughly the equivalent annual demand of 300 typical American houses.
Like most larger-scale solar installations, the University of Maryland's 2.2-MW array was completed by way of a power purchase agreement (PPA). SunEdison -- a large PPA provider headquartered in Beltsville, MD -- engineered and installed the system at no up-front cost to UMES or the state of Maryland.