Sunny Ocean City goes big on solar

WASHINGTON — Soon, the sun won’t just be tanning tourists in Ocean City — it will be powering the Maryland resort’s buildings.

Energy company Constellation is breaking ground this week on a 10-megawatt solar energy project at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Maryland Route 90, about 10 miles west of downtown Ocean City, that will eventually supply about 20 percent of the resort town’s annual energy use.

When complete, it will include more than 30,000 photovoltaic panels on 113 acres.

Ocean City’s city hall, convention center and water plant are among buildings that will draw from the solar project.

“Thanks to our continued collaboration with Constellation, in the first year, the town of Ocean City will receive nearly 6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity supply, saving Ocean City taxpayers an expected $120,000 a year,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan.

In addition to Ocean City, Eastman Chemical Co. will get a portion of the solar project’s production to power its manufacturing facility in Chestertown, Maryland.

United Renewable Energy will oversee construction of the solar farm, expected to be completed before the end of 2018.

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