Giving Back:

Solar Project Serves as an Outdoor Classroom

Project Spotlight: GA25 3.2 MW DC Maryland Community Solar

Additional benefit for communities considering solar: engaging and inspiring local students through on-site learning at community solar farms.

TurningPoint Energy’s most recently developed Garrett County, Maryland solar farm is already contributing to the community. In June 2022, both elementary and college students toured the site, learning first-hand about solar project construction and operation from David Wagner, director of asset acquisition construction for DSD Renewables, the project investor and owner/operator. 

First, a group of third, fourth, and fifth grade Grantsville Elementary School students toured the site. The Grantsville Elementary students were part of the school’s gifted and talented or the FIRST Lego League programs. They learned about the components of the solar panels, how the sun’s energy is converted to electricity, and how it travels to the grid. Students also learned about the amount of energy each solar cell can produce and how that relates to household consumption.

The Grantsville Elementary School FIRST Lego League program feeds into the high school level Garrett County Robotics Coalition Team (GaCo). Earlier in the project development phase, TurningPoint Energy donated to GaCo Team 1629, as part of its ongoing commitment to investing in every community that hosts its solar projects.  GaCo’s vision is for every young person in Garrett County to achieve that “ah-ah” moment that develops their potential and success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  In April 2022, GaCo Team 1629 won the Top Award at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas.

Second, college interns for the Appalachian Lab of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science visited the site, focusing on solar project site identification, site preparation, water/runoff management as well as additional environmental protections built into the project design, and the career opportunities in the solar industry. 

The 3.2 MW DC Garrett County Community Solar Project  (GA25) was awarded to TurningPoint Energy as part of the State of Maryland’s Community Solar Pilot Program. 

TPE developed the project. DSD Renewables is the long-term owner and operator and SolAmerica served as EPC. The project is one of numerous MD Community Solar Projects completed by TPE since 2019. TPE and its partners have pledged more than $186,000 in community investment across Maryland to local food pantries, first responders, schools, shelters for the homeless, veterans support services, agricultural and community service organizations that assist low income families as part of its national pledge to donate over $1,000,000 by 2023.

CLIENT: Community Solar with Potomac Edison
LOCATION: Accident, MD
EPC: SolAmerica
INVESTOR: DSD Renewables