Parks Expect Solar Array to Save on Energy

Montgomery Parks “flipped the switch” Wednesday in a ceremony to mark the addition of a pair of solar arrays powering county parks.

The panels — at South Germantown Recreational and Rock Creek parks — have been providing power since about March.

And the deal with Standard Solar should net the park system savings.

Tony Clifford, chief development officer with the Rockville-based company, describes the deal:

Standard Solar also is paying for the upkeep. Any panels damaged — by an errant arrow or a hooked golf ball, for example, would have to be replaced at the company’s expense, Clifford said.

The panels are expected to last about 25 years, he said.

“The only thing the county is responsible to do is buy the power from the array. And they’re doing that at a discounted price,” Clifford said. And the price is 10 to 15 percent of power from the grid, which is estimated at saving the parks system $60,000 annually.

During the ceremony at South Germantown Recreational Park, Clifford said the electricity generated with the solar array would be equal to the carbon sequestered by 3,000 acres of forest.

A dozen years ago, solar cost about $100 a watt, Clifford said. Now it’s about $2 to $2.50 a watt.

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Solar Panels Powering Montgomery Parks

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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