FEDERALSBURG — New solar panels will provide a large chunk of the electricity needed to run Federalsburg’s wastewater treatment plant, after the town’s mayor and council approved an ordinance Tuesday, Sept. 3, allowing them to borrow $750,000 to cover expenses to install them.
Once the project is complete, the town will be recouped through a $2.5 million grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The project will build a 970-kW solar field, producing 1.4 megawatts — enough to provide $125,000 worth of electricity annually to the wastewater treatment plant.
The solar field is to be built on five acres already owned by the town, said Councilmember Scott Phillips.
The town will borrow $750,000 from Provident State Bank to pay for contractors, engineers and equipment; once the project is complete and the town receives the grant, it will use it to pay back the bank.
After a public hearing on the ordinance, which garnered no comments, the council voted unanimously to approve it.
The project will go out to bid later this month.
Also at the meeting, the mayor and council voted unanimously to accept an offer from MDE to settle several fines incurred by the town’s wastewater treatment plant since 2016 for $9,000.
The violations were related to phosphorus production and unauthorized discharges, which Phillips said have been resolved.