UMES Carves out 20 Acres of Arid Land for 2.1 MW Solar Farm | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

UMES Carves out 20 Acres of Arid Land for 2.1 MW Solar Farm

  • Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    SunEdison to Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain Solar Energy Project

    to Produce 3.4 Million Kilowatt Hours in Year 1

    Campus PicPRINCESS ANNE. MD  (AUGUST 5, 2009)  University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) today announced plans to develop a photovoltaic solar farm on 20 acres of land on the University s campus. SunEdison, North America s largest solar energy services provider, will finance, build, operate and maintain the 2.1-megawatt system under a solar power service agreement (SPSA). It will be the largest renewable energy project in Maryland and will provide UMES with long-term predictably priced solar-generated energy. Under the SunEdison SPSA, the solar plant will require no upfront capital investment by the University. Construction is scheduled to begin in early September with anticipated completion by the end of 2009.

    "UMES is doing its part to tighten its belt and keep costs down in a way that will help to grow the economy and improve our environment.  We re being both efficient and effective in participating in this national goal," said Dr. Thelma B. Thompson, president, UMES.

    The zero-emissions system is expected to produce more than 64 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity over the life of the 20-year agreement.   At this level of production the system will displace the more than 119 million pounds of greenhouse gases which would otherwise be emitted from a traditional power plant. 

    "UMES is an economic engine on Maryland's Eastern Shore . . . this is what we do. WSunEdison Ground Mount Systeme establish new industries and help businesses grow, said Dr. Ronald Forsythe, UMES vice president for technology and commercialization. 

    "It has taken us two years to get to this point.  The good thing is that it has been a true statewide collaboration with the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland College Park the Office of the Attorney General and the Board of Public Works.  Since everyone has shared in the learning curve to bring this project to fruition, we anticipate that benefits will accrue to us and to the state of Maryland."

    Brian Jacolick, general manager of the Americas for SunEdison, added, "The University of Maryland Eastern Shore's project offers good land use that helps to manage energy costs by providing predictable energy pricing, and delivers positive economic impact to the local community.  This program can be a model for other universities.   We are excited that we can be a part of the energy future that Maryland puts forth in its plan for 1,500 megawatts of solar generation capacity by 2022."


     About UMES:

    The University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a 123 year-old research and doctoral degree granting institution on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is a historically black university and home to some 4,100 students.  The 745-acre campus, which includes a 350-acre research and teaching farm, is nationally recognized for the beauty of its grounds.  Its low student-to-faculty ratio, well-funded research programs, historic tradition of inclusiveness and constituent membership in the University System of Maryland combine to make UMES a strong engine of growth and development.  For more information, visit


    About SunEdison:

    Sun Edison LLC is North America s largest solar energy services provider and operates across the global marketplace. SunEdison provides solar-generated energy at or below current retail utility rates to a broad and diverse client base of commercial, municipal and utility customers. For more information about SunEdison, please visit


    SunEdison LLC

    Michael Lawless,

    Rob Wyse,


    Bottom right photo depicts 1.2MW ground mount system at the Progress Energy location in Wilmington, NC.  Photograph courtesy of SunEdison, LCC.