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Sandy Point State Park Goes Green

Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

Sandy Point State Park is a fine place to soak up the sun. Soon those rays will be turning into energy.
    The Board of Public Works approved a $535,870 contract with Baltimore-based Bithenergy to evaluate, design and install park upgrades, reducing 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,” says parks superintendent Nita Settina.
    The alternate energy projects include:
    • Installing electricity-producing solar photovoltaic systems to the roofs of two buildings and four picnic pavilions;
    • Adding solar thermal technology to the park’s bathhouses with 80-gallon solar water-heating systems;
    • Erecting a 40-foot-tall wind turbine in the South Beach parking area;
    • Upgrading interior and exterior lighting to LEDs;
    • Adding new high-efficiency hand dryers in all park restrooms.
    The work begins this fall with an estimated completion date of January.
    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. Other projects 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.