20 April 2010
The 40th anniversary of Earth Day this Thursday finds one of the largest solar electric systems in Maryland nearing completion atop a popular recreational destination for Maryland families: the Rockville Ice Arena.
The Rockville Ice Arena is poised in the coming weeks to start generating some of its own electricity when its owner, The Maven Group, flips the switch on its 701-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system installed by Standard Solar, Inc. The system will help control the Ice Arena’s electricity costs and ensure the ice rink’s future as a training ground for aspiring hockey stars.
“As our own Washington Capitals begin their march toward their first-ever Stanley Cup, it’s especially fitting that the Rockville Ice Arena and the resident Montgomery Youth Hockey Association now are better equipped financially to continue training home-grown talent,” said Stuart Schooler, Managing Member, The Maven Group of Bethesda, Maryland.
“We commend The Maven Group for seeing the light about how solar helps their business run more profitably, how it empowers them to do more for youth hockey in Montgomery County and how they are helping our state reduce its heavy dependence on coal to generate electricity,” said Scott Wiater, President of Standard Solar.
The system is projected to meet about 30% of the Arena’s annual electricity needs and will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent emissions by about 757 tons each year. The electricity generated by the Arena’s solar system is enough to power approximately 72 average-sized American homes for a year.
For every 1,000 kilowatt hours (or one megawatt hour) of electricity generated by the system, The Maven Group will earn one Solar Renewable Energy Credit that under Maryland law it can currently sell in the open market for about $360 and are integral to financing many solar projects. Utilities in Maryland are required to buy these Credits as part of the state’s goal of generating electricity from renewable sources. The Arena’s solar system is expected to generate about 865 Solar Renewable Energy Credits every 12 months.
The Rockville Blades ice rink will include a computer kiosk where visitors can view how much electricity the solar panel system is producing at any given time or review historical performance. The system data also will be available via a password-protected web portal.