The Maryland Public Service Commission granted Competitive Power Ventures a construction permit on the 200-MWDC Backbone Solar Farm in Garrett County, Maryland.
The state’s approval grants CPV permission to construct Backbone Solar on former Vindex/Arch Coal mining sites north of the town of Kitzmiller. The mines served as a major economic contributor to the region for decades. The new solar farm will be sited on approximately 1,170 acres of the property. Construction is expected to begin later this year.
“CPV is committed to driving North America’s transition to a clean, responsible energy future while providing positive benefits for local communities,” said Sean Finnerty, executive VP of CPV. “We have been working closely with Garrett County and the state throughout the permitting process and look forward to further cooperative efforts as we move ahead.”
Backbone Solar represents an approximately more than $200 million private infrastructure investment in the region. It will provide over 150 jobs during the 18-month construction process and bring as much as $2.7 million in annual local tax revenues to Garrett County.
The solar farm will generate enough emission-free electricity to power an estimated 30,000 average Maryland homes. Maryland has a clean energy target of 14.5% solar energy by 2028 and 50% renewable energy by 2030.
“As Garrett County works to recover from the impact of the pandemic and other economic stress, state approval of this significant energy project is a very timely development,” said Paul Edwards, chairman of the Garrett County Board of Commissioners. “It is our express desire to see this project under construction as soon as possible.”
CPV plans to do initial site preparation work as soon as permit conditions allow, to expedite construction and the benefits that CPV Backbone will provide the community.
“This project provides an array of economic and environmental benefits to the region and offers a host of opportunities for local businesses to benefit,” said Jennifer Walsh, executive director of The Greater Cumberland Committee, an economic development organization in the region.
News item from Competitive Power Ventures