Yesterday we brought you news of Baltimore neighborhoods are reducing energy consumption through a few simple steps. But it’s not just the homeowners who are committed to reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015. Johns Hopkins, the largest employer in the city, is taking steps to save money by reducing its own energy consumption. And it’s not the only one.
In an Earth Day press release, the school announced the installation of 2,908 solar panels on seven buildings. Panels on the school’s gym, the Mattin Center, and the Bloomberg School of Public health’s main building (among others) are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million pounds each year, and produce 34 households-worth of electricity. As of this morning, the panels have already saved 15,744 gallons of gas, according to this cool live-streaming control panel.
But all that solar activity doesn’t mean that a cloudy day will shut the school down; it’s still a BGE customer, and any surplus energy from the panels gets returned to the power company for distribution to other customers.
Hopkins isn’t the only team in town getting into the solar game. BWI recently installed roof panels on top of the daily parking garage, and they claim that their system will generate energy equivalent to the amount needed to power 104 average households. McCormick & Co. is taking it one step further, using solar panels and other energy-saving tricks to generate more power than it consumes, making its 369,000 square foot warehouse the first “net-zero-energy” building in Maryland.
We’d like to see a little friendly competition between local power players — who can reduce the most? 600,000 kilowatt hours, ha! Try 997,400!