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University of Maryland Going Green With Solar Power

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The University of Maryland unveiled a new solar array Tuesday that is composed of 2,600 individual panels -- one of the largest in the region.
Matt Bush
The University of Maryland unveiled a new solar array Tuesday that is composed of 2,600 individual panels -- one of the largest in the region.

One of the largest solar panel arrays in the DC-region is now generating electricity at the University of Maryland in College Park.

On top of the school's Severn Building on Greenbelt Road sits more than 2,600 solar panels. It only took two months to install them and get the array operational. That quick turnaround is one of the major attractions for users of solar power.

Malcolm Woolf is the director of the Maryland Energy Administration. He says wind power and solar power compliment each other as clean energy sources.

"Wind often blows at night, and solar is obviously during the day," says Woolf. "So solar has a coincident peak. It produces the most power when we need it the most -- during those hot summer afternoons. It's also very easily scalable. You could put it on your roof and have a smaller system, while you could put massive arrays like this on bigger buildings that have a bigger load."

State officials say this particular roof will produce energy in its first year is equivalent to that of taking 79 cars off the road.

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