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Constellation Energy and McCormick & Company Inc. on April 22 announced an agreement to develop a new 1.8-megawatt (DC) solar photovoltaic power system at the McCormick distribution center in Belcamp, Md. This will be the largest single rooftop solar installation in Maryland, and is the second solar installation developed for McCormick by Constellation Energy. In late 2008, the companies brought a nearly 1-megawatt solar installation online at McCormick’s Spice Mill in Hunt Valley, Md. Construction of this latest installation has been scheduled to begin in late June with estimated completion by the close of 2010.
“In order for renewables to expand and make a meaningful impact, you have to have organizations like McCormick that make a commitment to sustainability and developers such as Constellation Energy that make clean energy practical and reliable,” said Michael Smith, senior vice president of green initiatives for Constellation Energy. “We are very pleased to be working again with McCormick on a new solar installation. This affirms that Constellation Energy’s solar model creates an affordable and realistic renewable energy solution for our customers.”
Constellation Energy will finance the project, including design and construction of the installation, and then own and maintain the solar power system for a period of 20 years. McCormick purchases energy produced by the solar installations hosted at its facilities. Structuring solar projects in this way creates an attractive business model that creates no upfront costs for customers and provides them with firm power costs over a long term. Constellation Energy expects McCormick to save an estimated $3.4 million in electricity costs over the term of the agreement.
“We have had a very positive response to our earlier solar installations from our customers, employees and shareholders,” said Alan Wilson, chairman, president, and CEO of McCormick. “With this new project, McCormick becomes one of the largest corporate users of solar power in the state of Maryland. This is a great source of pride and a clear sign of our ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainability in general. Sustainability makes great sense from a business perspective and is ‘Truly our Nature’ at McCormick.”
The McCormick Distribution Center solar project is currently designed to utilize 8,372 crystalline photovoltaic solar panels on the facility’s 363,000 square foot rooftop. The system is expected annually to generate power equivalent to the amount of electricity used by 195 homes in a year. Generating that same amount of electricity using non-renewable 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. The project will also create a number of new green jobs, requiring approximately 17,000 man-hours during construction.
Constellation Energy currently has approximately 25 megawatts of on-site solar projects completed or under development throughout the U.S. and announced recently that it has set aside $90 million to fund the development of similar solar installations in 2010. Qualifying projects of 500 kilowatts generally require at least 100,000 square feet of roof space or two acres of open ground. Commercial customers, universities, school systems, hospitals and government agencies interested in developing solar projects can contact Constellation Energy at Sustainable-Solutions@constellation.comor 877-427-2005.
McCormick & Company Inc. is a global leader in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of spices, seasonings, specialty foods and flavors to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and food service businesses.
About Constellation Energy
Constellation Energy is a leading supplier of energy products and services to wholesale and retail electric and natural gas customers. It owns a diversified fleet of generating units located in the United States and Canada, totaling approximately 7,100 megawatts of generating capacity, and is among the leaders pursuing the development of new nuclear plants in the United States. The company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), its regulated utility in Central Maryland. A Fortune 500 company headquartered in Baltimore, Constellation Energy had revenues of $15.6 billion in 2009.
McCormick and Constellation Energy have collaborated on more than 2.7 megawatts of solar power, like this installation at McCormick's Spice Mill in Hunt Valley, Md. (Photo: McCormick & Company)