Harford Community College (HCC), located in Bel Air, Maryland, is considering a solar installation that could save the facility over $900,000 in energy costs over the next two decades.
The proposal from Tecta Solar was compelling enough to warrant the college’s Board of Trustee’s to meet for a special work session this week. The board typically holds off on making decisions of this scale until the fall, but HCC president Dennis Golladay said this was an exception.
“We got such a good price and such a good deal [that it is] important for the board to take a look at it now,” Golladay told the Baltimore Sun.
The plan would be for the college to partner with Tecta Solar to earn a discount on their power by generating electricity from solar panels installed on any one of four buildings on the campus. Then the power would be sold to a third party. The third party is unknown at this point in time, but would be a power distributor anywhere in the country.
The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) requires no upfront investment from the college. Tecta Solar will install the panels at cost of about $2.5 million and retain ownership rights for the duration of the contract. When the contract is up, the college has to option to have the panels removed or to purchase them directly.
The deal gets even sweeter if the college installs the solar system before the end of 2012 in order to receive about $120,000 in tax credits that will otherwise expire.
Board members in favor of the project include Rick Johnson, HCC vice president of finance and operations, as well as Victor Dodson, the college’s director of procurement. Johnson said that project is “an energy hedge, because we’re actually hedging the price for 20 years.”
Dodson agreed, saying, “What we got back from the market was beyond our expectations.”