State Del. Neil C. Parrott, a Republican who represents the area where the solar farm would be built, said Friday that he likes the idea.
“I think it’s an interesting project,” he said.
Parrott said he’d like to see specific plans for how the project will look and wants to hear what neighbors think of it.
“I like what I’ve heard so far,” said Sen. Christopher B. Shank, whose territory also includes the project site, declaring himself “cautiously optimistic.”
Shank said he also wants to hear community reactions and to find out more about the arrangement the state would have for the use of the land.
The Washington County legislative delegation is scheduled to meet Thursday with Poole, Shank said.
“We don’t like to see crop ground taken up ... but they’ll be using the ground for a good cause,” said Jeremiah Weddle, who leases the land to grow wheat, alfalfa and soybeans.
“I wish they could put it on rooftops instead of agricultural land,” Weddle said, noting that he understands that the state’s renewable-energy goals make that impractical. He said the prison, Department of General Services and the companies involved “bent over backwards to work with us and help us.”
Weddle said he will be looking for different land to farm to replace production lost to the project.
Maryland currently has about 15 megawatts of solar-generating capacity, according to the release.
Another company plans to open a 17-megawatt facility in 2012 at Mount Saint Mary’s College, Moore said.
Maryland Solar and Hagerstown Community College will work together on an educational component to the solar farm, with the company providing internships and job-shadowing opportunities and on-site class visits.
HCC will have an offsite-monitoring room in its Science Technology Engineering Math building.
Staff Writer Andrew Schotz contributed to this story