Maryland Solar Farm I was a 20 Megawatt (MW) Alternating Current (AC) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) project located in Washington County, Maryland. The project occupied approximately 160 acres making it the largest solar farm in the state of Maryland. At construction, it more than doubled the State’s current solar electricity output making it critical to the success of Maryland’s renewable energy goals, which included a Maryland mandate of 20 percent renewable energy by 2022.
The project required a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) since electricity generated at the facility would be distributed entirely into the electrical grid. The project also required an Interconnection Service Agreement and a Construction Service Agreement through the PJM Interconnection LLC (PJM). In addition to these requirements that are unique to electric-generating facilities, the project required coverage under the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) General National Pollutant Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit for construction activities over one acre as well as local permits from Washington County, Maryland.
Triad Engineering, Inc. (Triad) performed environmental investigations and compliance; geotechnical drilling and evaluation; surveying and mapping; and site engineering and permitting. Triad’s services included, but were not limited to, the following:
- Performance of a detailed Geotechnical Investigation that included soil borings, air track probes, thermal conductivity testing, and field soil resistivity testing.
- Performance of a Routine Wetlands Delineation Study as outlined in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Wetlands Delineation Manual (Y-87-1), dated January 1987, and the Interim Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region (ERDC/EL RT-10-9), dated July 2010. The results of the Wetland Delineation Study were confirmed by the Corps and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
- Preparation of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in general accordance with ASTM Practice E1527-05, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments.
- Preparation of a Natural Resources Inventory Plan.
- Processing an Environmental Review Request with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Division.
- Coordination of a Cultural Resources Due Diligence Investigation.
- Preparation of an Environmental Review Document that was filed with the PSC with the application for the CPCN (PSC Case No. 9272). As part of the CPCN permitting process, Triad provided expert testimony, responded to various data requests from the PSC as well as the DNR Power Plant Research Program (PPRP), and Triad represented the project at the public hearing required for the issuance of the CPCN.
- Surveying and mapping services including boundary resolution and utility designations.
- Preparation and submittal of an Environmental Sensitive Design (ESD) Concept Plan.
- Preparation and processing of a Site Development Plan and Final Storm Water Management and Construction Plan.
- Quality Control and Construction Materials Testing.