Old landfill in Maryland transformed into state's first large-scale community solar farm

Old landfill in Maryland transformed into state's first large-scale community solar farm
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A swath of land in Fort Washington, Md., that was once home to a landfill has been transformed into the state’s first large-scale community solar farm, NPR News reports

According to the network, the project is the result of a pilot program that was rolled out by Maryland in 2017. The program, which runs through 2020, seeks to expand accessibility to solar energy for state residents.

Through the community solar program, residents in select regions of the state are able to “purchase or lease a ‘share’ in a community solar project or start a project with your neighbors,” the program explains on its site.

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“Every month, you receive a credit on your electricity bill for the energy produced by your share," it adds.

Under the three-year program, nearly 196 megawatts of installed solar capacity will be allocated to a number of community solar farms in the state. 

The former landfill near Washington, D.C., is the state’s first large-scale community solar farm under the program, according to NPR News, and has enough energy to provide power to over 1,000 customers.

Gary Skulnik, the CEO behind the local community solar company Neighborhood Sun, told NPR that the landfill is an ideal site for the new farm because it’s “not an area that can really be used for anything else, so it's the perfect place for a solar farm.”

The launch of the new solar farm, called the Panorama project, arrives months after a report found that solar installations across the country saw a decline last year.

Experts said the Trump administration bore some blame for the decline, which came after it slapped tariffs on foreign imports of aluminum and steel that are used by solar companies to create solar cells.