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Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 28, 2016

Montgomery County installing solar panels

on Council Office Building roof

Project is part of County initiative to save

$11 million in energy costs over next 20 years


ROCKVILLE, Md., July 28, 2016—Construction began this week to install solar panels on the roof of the Montgomery County Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. The project provides an opportunity for promoting solar energy generation to residents, businesses and partner groups attending public hearings and other Council events. The solar energy system is expected to generate more than 53,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year.


The solar panel project at the Council Office Building is part of a larger Montgomery County initiative to generate clean solar energy on-site at County-owned facilities. With 75 percent of the projects completed, the Solar and Advanced Energy Initiative is on track to bring six megawatts of solar power on line this year. That is enough electricity to power more than 600 single-family homes.


The County’s solar projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 870 cars off the road or planting 100,000 trees. In addition, the projects will save the County $11 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.


“The Department of General Services deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the fantastic job they have been doing with renewable energy all over the County,” said County Council President Nancy Floreen. “Of course, this project seems extra special because it is so close to home for us, but it is really a part of a much larger program of sustainability.”


Montgomery County has fully operating solar energy systems at 11 facilities, including the Gaithersburg Library, the Rockville Library, Potomac Community Center, Jane Lawton Recreation Center in Chevy Chase, the Up-County Regional Services Center in Germantown, the Silver Spring Civic Building, Fire Station No. 31 in North Potomac, the Montgomery County Circuit Court South Tower in Rockville, the Shady Grove Transfer Station, the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control in Darnestown and the Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center.


In addition to starting work on the COB solar panels, the County also has started construction on a parking canopy that will support solar panels at the Holiday Park Senior Center in Wheaton. The solar canopy will keep visitors out of the rain, keep their cars cool in the summer heat and provide clean solar energy to the facility.


Solar installations are also planned for the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds and for the Kidstop Childcare Center in Rockville.


Details on all of the projects, including links to see how much energy the solar panels are generating in real time, is available at .


“Our Council has led our County to becoming one of the most sustainable communities in the country,” said Council Vice President Roger Berliner, who chairs the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee. “We consume 100 percent renewable energy and we are carbon neutral. And we saved money doing it. It is fitting that our Council Office Building serves as a model for solar generation, a model that we should encourage all residents and businesses to explore given its cost-effectiveness and positive climate impacts.“


Councilmember George Leventhal, who chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, said: “Counties and municipalities are taking the lead on numerous public policy issues because our federal government has failed to take action. Energy conservation and sustainability are areas where local government play a pivotal role in moving the needle from discussion to implementation. Government needs to model the behavior we want to see from our residents. Moving ahead with solar energy is the right thing for our County and our nation.”


County Department of General Services Director David Dise said: “The County is committed to installing solar on its facilities wherever the systems are cost effective and will perform well. We want to be a model for County residents by showcasing different types of solar installations–rooftop, canopy and ground mounts—at a variety of facilities. When people encounter solar panels at their libraries, recreation centers and childcare centers, they see solar as an environmentally friendly and cost efficient option for their own homes and businesses.”


For more information about this project, or the County’s other green initiatives, call Eric Coffman, 240-777-5595.


#   #   # Release ID: 16-235
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939, Delphine Harriston 240-777-7931