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CPV Awarded State Approval for 200 MWdc Solar Farm on Former Coal Mine in Garrett County

January 31st, 2022 by WCBC Radio

Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) today announced that it has achieved a major milestone in its plan to construct and operate the 200 MWdc Backbone Solar Farm (CPV Backbone) in western Maryland’s Garrett County. The Maryland Public Service Commission granted CPV a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the project on January 11, 2022.

The state’s approval grants CPV permission to construct Backbone Solar on former Vindex/Arch Coal mining sites north of the town of Kitzmiller, MD. The mines served as a major economic contributor to the region for decades. The new solar farm will be sited on approximately 1,170 acres of the property. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

“CPV is committed to driving North America’s transition to a clean, responsible energy future while providing positive benefits for local communities,” said CPV Executive Vice President Sean Finnerty. “We have been working closely with Garrett County and the state throughout the permitting process and look forward to further cooperative efforts as we move ahead.”

CPV Backbone Solar represents an approximately $210 – $290 million private infrastructure investment in the region. It will provide over 150 jobs during the 18-month construction process and bring as much as $2.7 million in annual local tax revenues to benefit Garrett County. The solar farm will generate enough emission-free electricity to power an estimated 30,000 average Maryland homes. It will help the state meet its clean energy targets of 14.5 percent solar energy by 2028 and 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Key local groups have expressed their support for the project, and in March 2021, the Garrett County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to advance the project.