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Keyword: renewable energy

Through Partnership with EPP, Baltimore County to Significantly Reduce Methane Emissions While Generating Renewable Energy Directly to the County

Baltimore County today announced it has entered a new agreement with Energy Power Partners (EPP), a clean power-focused firm to participate in a landfill gas-to-energy system at the County’s Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh.

The two-phase project is the first large-scale renewable energy venture in Baltimore County’s history. “Climate change poses one of the most significant threats to our state’s long-term health and prosperity. This new project will reduce Baltimore County’s carbon footprint and help meet critical renewable energy goals,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Baltimore County can and should be a leader in environmental sustainability and my administration will continue to innovate as we work to protect our shared environment for this generation—and the next.”

In 2019, EPP purchased the gas-to-energy facility located on the Eastern Sanitary Landfill, previously owned by Exelon Generation, and worked to restore and repurpose the site’s engines to more efficiently generate electricity from the produced methane.

“This is a great example of a public-private initiative that helps protect the environment while providing a reliable energy source,” said Steve Gabrielle, partner for Energy Power Partners. “We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Baltimore County, and we appreciate their vision.”

Beginning in June 2020, the County entered into a power purchase agreement with EPP where the facility captures methane gas produced by the County’s 375-acre Eastern Sanitary Landfill to power two engine generators, providing energy directly to the local utility grid.

Through the utility net metering process, the County will purchase the energy produced to offset the power needs of County-owned facilities.

Project Anticipated to Save $285,000

The methane capture generators will power the equivalent of 1,600 homes and prevent the equivalent of 10,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. According to the EPA, the reduction of emissions is equivalent to any one of the below annual environmental benefits:

  • Removing 2,000 cars from the road, or
  • Planting 12,300 acres of forest, or
  • Reducing consumption of 1 million gallons of gasoline

The project is anticipated to save the County $285,000 in FY21.

Under this first phase, the project is expected to generate 13 million kWh annually. The second phase of the project will add a third engine to increase energy production to 20 million kWh annually. Phase two of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

“With this project, Baltimore County is taking an important step towards embracing a vision for using our own renewable energy sources,” said Baltimore County Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Lafferty. “The challenges presented by climate change will grow in the years ahead and so we must continue to aggressively pursue sustainable solutions like this project to create a greener and cleaner future.”

Promoting Environmental Sustainability

According to the EPA, landfill waste accounts for the third-largest man-made source of methane in the country and reducing methane emissions from landfills is one of the best ways to provide an immediate and beneficial impact in combatting the impacts of climate change.

In 2016, the previous administration announced a goal to generate or displace at least 20 percent of the County’s electric demand from renewable energy sources by 2022. As of December 2018, little progress had been made to meet this goal.

Since taking office, the Olszewski administration has made the expansion of renewable energy a priority. Through this project, Baltimore County is expected to offset at least 11 percent of the County’s total energy consumption and continues to explore additional efforts to help the County meet or exceed the 2022 goal.

This is the latest effort from the Administration to promote environmental sustainability.

In 2019, Olszewski created Baltimore County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer who is leading the development of a county-wide Climate Action Plan, covering topics such as reduced energy consumption, promotion of green infrastructure and sustainable growth policy.

Earlier this year, Olszewski convened a Youth Climate Working Group to ensure youth voices and recommendations are included in the County’s Climate Action Plan and other sustainability efforts.

Last month, Baltimore County announced a new effort to expand the County’s marketable recycling program by restarting glass recycling—which had been sidelined since 2013.


County Executive Calls for $400 Million in Statewide School Construction Funding

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will once again make school construction and transportation funding the linchpins of his legislative agenda for the upcoming General Assembly session.

Education

“There are significant needs for school construction and maintenance in every school district across the state,” said Kamenetz. “Governor Hogan’s current level of funding is simply inadequate. We must increase the statewide funding to at least $400 million, and we must do it now. Counties are unable to keep up with maintenance needs due to the lack of matching state funds. Our students and teachers deserve no less.”

Baltimore County’s request for school construction funding is $122 million.

Transportation

In October, the County Executive presented his transportation priorities to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), which included a $60 million request for projects in every region of the County. First and foremost in the request is the County Executive’s support for the Red Line. “While Governor Hogan continues to deplete the Transportation Trust Fund, people all over the state remain stuck in traffic.”

Paid Sick Leave

County Executive Kamenetz will work closely with members of the Baltimore County delegation and leadership in Annapolis on issues throughout the 90-day session. “I will start by doing whatever I can do to assist legislators in overriding Governor Hogan’s veto of the paid sick leave bill,” Kamenetz stated. “Governor Hogan’s refusal to give working families paid sick leave is outrageous, and I am confident the General Assembly will fight for working families despite the Governor.”

Renewable Energy

The County Executive will join clean energy advocates in their effort to ensure that Maryland reaches a 50 percent renewable energy portfolio by 2030. The current standard calls for a 25 percent use of renewables by 2020. “People all across the state want Maryland to be a leader in increasing its renewable energy commitment. You don’t do this by standing still, and I look forward to working with advocates and legislative leaders to move this initiative forward.”

Build on Last Year’s Success

During the 2017 session, Kamenetz worked closely with legislators to strengthen Maryland’s sexual assault laws, extend the fracking ban, support affordable prescription drug legislation and fight for the Trust Act. “People all across the state care about education, public safety, health care, and quality of life issues like environmental protection and renewable energy,” concluded Kamenetz. “If Governor Hogan won’t lead on these issues, the legislature will, and I will do whatever I can to support those efforts.”


Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz today issued the following statement regarding the Maryland Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to award offshore wind renewable energy credits to two projects to be built off Maryland’s coast:

“The PSC’s decision creates a tremendous opportunity for Maryland to become a national leader in a new American industry. With the nation's first large-scale offshore wind projects, we will be able to protect our environment and support renewable energy solutions — all while we grow our economy.

“I commend the PSC for promoting environmentally sound policies that require port modernization at Tradepoint Atlantic and open the opportunity for a new steel fabrication plant at Sparrows Point. Baltimore County has unique assets here that can meet the needs of global manufacturers that support this 21st century industry.  

“Together we can transform our county and our state into the East Coast hub for offshore wind manufacturing and logistics.”


 
 
Revised October 16, 2020               
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