Ch­e­sa­peake So­lar to host pub­lic hear­ing Aug. 22

Cecil Whig - - BUSINESS - By BRAD KRO­NER bkro­ner@ches­

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY — Ch­e­sa­peake So­lar, a new so­lar en­ergy com­pany lo­cat­ing north of Ch­e­sa­peake City, will have a pub­lic hear­ing at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22 at the Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press at 1570 Elkton Road in Elkton.

En­ergy com­pa­nies are re­quired to hold a pub­lic hear­ing by the state Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (PSC).

SunEast De­vel­op­ment, a so­lar en­ergy com­pany, first told the Ce­cil County Coun­cil in July that a so­lar farm would be lo­cated on the site, once the com­pany re­ceived the proper per­mits and li­cens­ing.

Around 55 acres of the 100-acre prop­erty, which lies at 1679 Au­gus­tine Her­man High­way be­tween Route 213 and Spears Hill Road, will be cov­ered with so­lar pan­els. The prop­erty’s zon­ing is con­sis­tent with use as a so­lar field.

The site will host 40,000 so­lar pan­els gen­er­at­ing around 9 megawatts of power. One me­gawatt of power can bring en­ergy to 164 homes, mean­ing 9 megawatts could power 1,476 homes.

The fa­cil­ity will serve Del­marva Power’s cov­er­age area.

“Mary­land has es­tab­lished one of the most ag­gres­sive re­new­able port­fo­lio stan­dard re­quire­ments in the coun­try, re­quir­ing 22 per­cent of its power to be re­new­able by 2020, in­clud­ing 2.5 per­cent from so­lar,” wrote Todd Chasen, Ch­e­sa­peake So­lar’s le­gal coun­sel, in an ap­pli­ca­tion to the PSC. “In or­der to meet th­ese bind­ing re­quire­ments Mary­land needs not only small, res­i­den­tial rooftop in­stal­la­tions, but large util­ity- scale fa­cil­i­ties like the Ch­e­sa­peake So­lar Project.”

Chasen wrote that the project would re­quire a cap­i­tal in­vest­ment of $1519 mil­lion.

Around 50 tem­po­rary jobs in de­sign, man­age­ment and con­struc­tion would be cre­ated on site at the height of con­struc­tion.

Con­struc­tion should be com­pleted in fall 2018.

While the area is not densely pop­u­lated, the prop­erty does bor­der a res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment on Spears Hill Road. County of­fi­cials have said they don’t ex­pect the so­lar farm to spark out­cry in the com­mu­nity.

Ch­e­sa­peake So­lar is a sub­sidiary of Free­p­oint So­lar, a divi­sion of Free­p­oint Com­modi­ties, the owner of the project. SunEast De­vel­op­ment is the project man­age­ment com­pany.

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The red pin marks the prop­erty where Ch­e­sa­peake So­lar will be con­struct­ing a so­lar farm.

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