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Scaling Solar Heights: Maryland's Innovative Approach

2024-03-13

Summit Ridge Energy (SRE), the powerhouse commercial solar contractor hailing from Arlington, Virginia, is breaking new ground in Maryland. Soon to wrap up the construction of a 17-MW community solar portfolio, this feat involves seven projects—well, at least by interconnection standards. What makes it stand out? These seven projects span across four different rooftops, all belonging to commercial buildings owned by industrial real estate giant LBA Logistics.

 

The collaboration between LBA Logistics and Black Bear Energy, an agency championing on-site renewables for institutional property owners, traces back to 2019. According to Victoria Stulgis, SVP of client operations at Black Bear Energy, finding the perfect asset was no small task. "It took them a while to find an asset where all the pieces lined up," she notes. From roof conditions to solar market viability, absence of hesitant partners or lenders, and the commitment to hold the asset long-term—all factors fell into place.

 

Stulgis expresses her admiration for the Maryland solar projects, emphasizing the rarity of consolidating four assets under one party in a single market. This pioneering approach showcases not just the technical prowess of SRE but also the strategic collaboration that turns challenges into opportunities, making it a standout venture in Maryland's solar landscape.

 

The solar saga in Maryland takes a unique turn as Summit Ridge Energy (SRE), the Virginia-based solar juggernaut, unveils its groundbreaking 17-MW community solar portfolio. This feat spans seven projects, strategically situated across the cities of Rosedale and Belcamp. The narrative kicks off with the completion of a 4.8-MWDC array crowning an industrial building on Quad Avenue in Rosedale, celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August 2023.

 

The solar momentum continues in Belcamp, where a 2.8-MWDC array graces Mercedes Drive, accompanied by 2.3-MWDC and 7.55-MWDC projects on neighboring buildings along Appliance Drive.

 

What sets these projects apart is their clever maneuvering around Maryland's Community Solar Pilot Program restrictions. SRE, navigating the 2 MWAC capacity cap, ingeniously incorporated multiple interconnection points in the 4.8-MW array on Quad Avenue and the 7.55-MW project on Appliance Drive.

 

Navigating through interconnection queues, typically a lengthy process, SRE discovered that working on industrial rooftops proved faster than ground installations. While rooftop construction may be pricier, Nate Greenberg, VP of business development at SRE, highlights the cost efficiencies. Avoiding the complexities of special use permits, wetland studies, and other ground-mount project requirements compensates for the expense.

 

In this solar symphony, SRE not only showcases its technical prowess but also exemplifies how innovation and strategic planning can turn challenges into triumphs, illuminating Maryland's rooftops with a solar revolution.

 
 
 
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