Selecting a Site for a New Solar Plant in Maryland
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