Transforming County Government - Energy & Government Operations
Clean, Renewable Energy Production at Government Buildings
- Solar PV Installation - The County is currently installing its largest solar energy carport system (~900 kW) at the new Wayne K. curry Administration Building. Three additional solar PV systems were installed at the Consolidated Warehouse, Fleet Maintenance, and the Animal Services facilities. These systems produce approximately 527,000 kWh of electricity and offset over 1.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The County plans to install an additional 4 MW of solar on its properties over the next 5 years.
- Rooftop Solar Challenge Grant - The County received a technical assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) via MWCOG to develop and promote the Solar Road Map - a web tool that provides a guidance on how to transform the local solar market by reducing "soft costs". According to DOE, non-hardware costs or "soft costs" - including permitting, installation and interconnection - can make up as much as 60% of the total installed cost of a rooftop PV system. The County in partnership with MWCOG is taking actions in four areas to bring down these soft costs and make it faster, easier, and cheaper to go solar.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Government Buildings
The County entered into energy performance contracts with energy service companies Pepco and Johnson controls, Inc., to perform energy and water improvements to 10 county government buildings. This project, known as Phase I EPC, generates approximately $1,000,000 of energy savings annually. An Energy Performance Contract (EPC) provides customers with a comprehensive set of energy efficiency, renewable energy and/or distributed generation measures, accompanied with guarantees that the savings produced by a project will be sufficient to finance the full cost of the project.
Harriet Hunter Deep Energy Retrofit - the program has completed additional investment grade energy audits and received about $400,00 from Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to complete a "Deep Energy Retrofit" of Harriet Hunter Senior Center and upgrade to LED lighting in various areas at the County Administration building. The building was also equipped with Smart Building technology so HVAC can be controlled remotely by building management staff.
LED Outdoor Lighting Project - The Facilities Operation and Management (FOM) team replaced ~80 High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures with energy-efficient LED fixtures in the parking lot area of Inglewood III and Largo Government Center.
LED fixtures use semi-conducting materials to convert electricity into light, which results in 35-60% energy savings, per light fixture. They last 3 to 4 times longer than traditional light sources, require less maintenance, and contain little to no hazardous materials.
LED conversion project will save the County government approximately 121, 000 kWh and $13,000 in energy/operation costs annually. Additionally, the County received rebates from Pepco's Lighting Rebate Program to offset capital and installation costs.
Greening the Fleet
MEA launched the Maryland smart Energy Communities program in 2013. The goal of the program is to have local governments commit to sustained energy savings and adopt policies related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and/or transportation efficiency. The program and Fleet Division utilized a portion of the $649,000 of grant funds to purchase 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and install 3 dual-head electric vehicle charging stations.
A Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) utilizes an internal combustion engine, electric motor, and rechargeable battery that can be restored to full charge by connecting a plug to an external electric power. Compared to conventional vehicles, PHEV achieves almost double the fuel economy and produce lower carbon emissions. in 2015, the County Council approved a Green Fleet Policy further promote the purchase of clean and efficient vehicles. To this end, the Fleet Division has purchased liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered vehicles, innovative XL hybrid vehicles and other energy vehicles to comply with the plan.