Baltimore: Constellation Energy and McCormick & Co. Inc. have completed a 1.8-megawatt solar installation at McCormick’s 363,000-square-foot distribution center in Belcamp, MD.
One of the largest rooftop installations in Maryland and the second solar project developed for McCormick by Constellation Energy, McCormick’s Belcamp installation brings the company’s total amount of hosted solar power statewide to nearly 3 megawatts.
In late 2008, the companies brought a nearly 1-megawatt solar installation online at McCormick's Spice Mill in Hunt Valley, MD.
In honor of the solar project’s completion, a celebration and ribbon-cutting were last week at McCormick’s Belcamp distribution center. Representatives from McCormick, Constellation and state and local government were on hand for the event, including Harford County officials and the Maryland Energy Administration’s clean energy director, Kelly Speakes-Backman.
“This newest solar installation is part of McCormick’s commitment to sustainability,” said Alan D. Wilson, chairman, president and CEO for McCormick. “Since 2005, we have reduced our global water usage 26 percent, greenhouse gas emissions 23 percent, solid waste 22 percent and electricity 17 percent.”
Constellation Energy developed, owns and maintains the solar power systems at McCormick’s Belcamp and Hunt Valley locations. In return, McCormick purchases all of the electricity generated by the solar panels at less than market rates under separate 20-year power purchase agreements. Constellation maintains ownership of the solar power system renewable energy certificates.
“Constellation Energy is proud to support McCormick’s continued commitment to renewable energy,” said Michael D. Smith, senior vice president of green initiatives for Constellation Energy’s retail business. “By making solar generation practical and reliable, companies can achieve environmental goals and control electricity costs. Constellation Energy expects the Belcamp installation to save McCormick an estimated $3 million in electricity costs over the term of the agreement.”
McCormick’s Belcamp solar power system utilizes 7,491 roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels. It is expected to generate an estimated 2.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually and offset approximately 75 percent of the facility’s annual electricity consumption. Generating that same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of more than 1,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and the equivalent of the emissions from more than 300 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
Constellation Energy currently owns and operates approximately 95 megawatts of solar installations that have been completed or are under construction for customers throughout the United States. By structuring its solar projects as power purchase agreements, Constellation Energy requires no upfront capital from its customers and is able to provide power at a fixed cost that is less than projected market rates.