University Park Solar    

A For-Profit Private Membership LLC for Solar Energy



A great opportunity for individuals to make a difference by becoming a member in future projects

NPR's Marketplace Covers Our Story: see the transcript here

And WYPR 88.1 FM's Maryland Morning show covers us here 

As of January 3, 2019 a total 219,357  kWh was generated.

Net Meter (click on the image) showed 44,295 kWh into the Pepco Grid.Net Meter began reading July 22, 2010 In April, 2012 Pepco paid $887.31 for 10, 441 kwh excess we generated in 2011, allowing its customers use of this non-carbon electric power.   We received another Pepco payment of $579.83 for 2012's excess generation.  And in April 2014,  Pepco paid us $628.45  for excess (7440 kWh) at the generation rate ($0.084469/kWh).  Pepco's 2015 payment was $967.10! A technical failiure prevented a full accounting in 2016, but Pepco paid $206. In 2017, we received $683.23 for the solar energy we supplied to Pepco.


What is the University Park Community Solar LLC?    

The University Park (UP) Community Solar LLC is a limited liability company of Maryland residents that have just developed a solar power generation site in our community.

This centralized solar generation site is intended to produce sufficient kilowatt hours (kWh) to replace a significant amount of electricity otherwise purchased from the local  utility.  Clean solar electricity substitutes for fossil-generated  electricity and stabilizes our electric rates.

How does the Solar LLC work?

Solar panels were installed on our host site, University Park Church of the Brethren , by an outside expert, Standard Solar, Inc. They also maintain the panels.  With the proceeds from purchases of membership interests, the LLC bought the panels and paid for the installation.  The Church has begun to purchase the power produced by the solar panels from the LLC.  The LLC also sells its solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) earned from generating  renewable energy.  



What do the LLC members receive for their purchase of interest in UP Solar projects?

In addition to reducing our "carbon footprint", the members are part of a project that preserves our environment for future generations, provides an investment model for other communities, and provides a wonderful learning opportunity for our children living in the neighborhood.   The revenues from the solar energy and SRECs sales go to maintaining the solar facility, operating costs such as insurance, and a return on capital to solar members.            

When were the solar panels installed on the roof of the Church of the Brethren? 

The first panel was installed on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 and the last panel on May 21.  A  dedication ceremony was held on June 12, 2010 at the church.  On July 22, 2010 Pepco installed a 240 volt/400 amp overhead cable from their system to the Church for us to harness the sunlight! 


       Click to see Program Events that were held June 12   Dedication Videos

      Church Representative Hooker Monroe throwing the switch that placed us on the Grid!   Array completed May 21

Photos of the installation by Pam Rutter

State Senator Pinsky takes time to demonstrate support for solar energy:     

      Paul Pinsky and Rushern Baker    Team Effort

      There they are!  All 99 Panels    Welcome Sign: Church of the Brethren


What does the solar generation site include?  

Standard Solar, Inc. has installed  made-in-America Sharp panels on the Church roof.  The 230-watt panels were made and assembled at Sharp’s Memphis, Tennessee plant.  The panels have been connected to three inverters which change the DC power generated by the panels to AC power used by the Church.  Wires enclosed in a conduit have been attached to the building circuit breaker box.  A computer was attached to the inverters to track the energy production and general performance of the system.  

The 22.77 kW solar power system is  generating 30,443 kWh a year.  (kWh” means a kilowatt-hour, or the delivery of one-thousand watts of energy over one hour.)  This provides the Church's electricity consumption plus some excess.  

Why is UPCS a for-profit company instead of a non-profit entity?

In exploring possible approaches to structuring our group, the organizing committee members determined:  

bulletthat an effort at fund-raising, which would require much labor in grant applications, was not the most efficient use of our limited time,
bulletthat energy generation projects had more appeal to members than to donors,
bulletthat a social benefit like carbon reduction did not preclude a possible return on an individual’s contribution to the project.