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Solar and Wind Power Projects Set for Sandy Point State Park

Upgrades Estimated to Reduce Total Energy Consumption by Nearly Half

beach photo of the bay bridge from the parkOne of Maryland’s most popular Chesapeake Bay destinations, Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, will soon become a model of alternative energy with the installation of solar power, wind power and other energy efficient features. The Board of Public Works yesterday approved a $535,870 contract with Baltimore-based Bithenergy to evaluate, design and install park upgrades that will reduce total energy consumption by an estimated 45 percent.

“Once installation is complete, Sandy Point will be the first state park to host alternative energy projects of this size and scale,” said State Parks Superintendent Nita Settina. “After months of planning and deciding on the most efficient and effective technology, we are excited to see these upgrades realized and to explore how we can best incorporate alternative energy features within other state parks and lands in the near future”

The projects include:

  • Installing solar photovoltaic systems to the roofs of two buildings and four picnic pavilions. The systems produce electricity when exposed to light and have a 100KW capacity.
  • Adding solar thermal technology to the park’s public bathhouses with 80-gallon solar water heating systems. The two system include three 4- by 8-foot solar collectors.
  • LED light upgrades to the existing interior and exterior lighting fixtures park-wide.
  • Placing a small wind turbine 40-feet high in the South Beach parking area, adjacent to the small craft launch.
  • Replacing hand dryers in all park restrooms with high efficiency models.

The work is scheduled to begin this fall with an estimated completion date of January 2016.

Funded by General Obligation Bonds, the energy projects are part of a larger $1.7 million capital improvement overhaul for the 63-year old park. Additional projects currently in design include a nature-themed playground, expanded nature center and renovations to the central park plaza, featuring tree planting, permeable pavers and interpretation of the Chesapeake Bay’s natural and human history.