Two St. Mary's Elem. Schools Awarded Grants for Solar Electricity Projects

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (May 3, 2010)—St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) has been awarded a Project Sunburst grant from the State of Maryland to install solar panels at George Washington Carver and Leonardtown Elementary Schools. Governor Martin O'Malley (D) recently announced that the State will nearly triple the amount of solar energy produced in Maryland over the next 12 months by funding solar installations on 32 government buildings through the project.

Grants for Project Sunburst are being awarded to selected government entities at a rate of $1,000 per kilowatt (kW) on photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on public buildings. Award recipients range from public school systems throughout the state, to the Salisbury Fire Station, the City of Baltimore Convention Center, and the Maryland Port Authority Marine Terminal, and were selected based on the quality of proposed locations, size, geographic diversity, and ability to successfully execute projects quickly.

The new solar systems are slated to produce 497 kilowatts (kW) of energy for the two schools.

"When installed, these panels will generate the amount of electricity that is equivalent to the average consumption of 250 homes," said Mr. Larry Hartwick, SMCPS supervisor of design and construction. "The total number of panels will be 100 times greater than what was installed at the newly constructed Evergreen Elementary School.

Project Sunburst will fund these solar installation projects through federal stimulus funds. The grant requires the school system to have the newly installed solar panels operational by April 2011.

The grant to SMPCS, one of 21 total awards, is the only grant to go to an organization in the tri-county area.

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