Loyola University Maryland will support the development of clean energy in Maryland by purchasing electricity produced by Friendship Solar Farm in West Friendship, Maryland. The university signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Chaberton Energy Holdings, which developed the solar park. Chaberton Energy is a Maryland-based renewable energy company funded by the Greenbacker Development Fund.
“This is an important step in the evolution of our campus and our community towards sustainability,” said Helen Schneider, associate vice president for facilities and risk management. “Loyola is thrilled to play a leadership role in the fight against climate change and to offer our community the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and support renewable energy projects. “
The solar farm will be completed in March 2022 and will produce clean, local solar power for commercial and residential use by Baltimore Gas & Electric customers. Customers can register online with Loyola’s partner, Neighborhood Sun, a Maryland-based solar power utility, to receive solar power from Friendship Solar Farm through BGE at a lower cost than standard power.
As part of the Loyola purchase agreement, Chaberton Energy will provide the university with ongoing energy consulting services and development opportunities for students. The energy company has hired two undergraduate students from Loyola for summer internships, and Bernadette Roche, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology, will conduct pollinator research at Friendship Solar Farm.
Friendship Solar Farm is a 12 acre working farm located on private farmland. The solar farm will feature pollinator-friendly habitat certified by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and four acres of native plants and trees will be planted around its perimeter. The income generated from renting the property for clean energy development will help landowners continue to operate the rest of their property and maintain their local farming business.