Selecting a Site for a New Solar Plant in Maryland

Aurora Energy Due Diligence Site Selection Analysis


Aurora Energy Due Diligence Site Selection Analysis


Various locations, Maryland


Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.

AKRF conducted an assessment of potential sites for a new solar plant within the State of Maryland. Our site selection study for the four proposed sites involved desktop analysis using existing information sources to develop GIS mapping; limited field reconnaissance to ground-truth existing data for each site; and the rapid development of both a rating system to categorize significant constraints, and a work product, which briefly summarizes and provides detailed maps for areas of significance.

A combined effort of AKRF’s GIS, natural resources, and cultural resources groups, we drew on our experience providing site selection services for proposed facilities in the Mid-Atlantic region. Our ecology experts are skilled in the rapid assessment of wetlands and terrestrial systems. AKRF has an extensive in-house database of federal, state, and local geospatial data pertaining to due diligence studies, including metadata about scale, accuracy, and source.

Our services for this project included:

  • Implementing an iterative screening process using GIS, beginning with high-level analysis of regional databases
  • Refining the areas of interest through successfully more site-level criteria and higher-resolution data, ending with specific properties or groups of properties as areas of significant constraint
  • Developing base maps of the four sites of interest, using high-resolution aerials and topographic maps
  • Ranking each potential solar site by areas of significant constraints
  • Developing both a comprehensive hydrology and flood hazard map and a soils, geology, and topographical map for four areas of interest in order
  • Determining constraints resulting from historic and cultural resources
  • Advising on federal, state, and local permit requirements that would apply to areas of significant constraint

Site Selection Overview