Date: November 18, 2016
Media Contacts: Marcus Rosano, 240-567-4022; Fritzi Bodenheimer, 240-567-4098
Governor Larry Hogan Announces Agreement Between Two Major Korean Energy Firms
and Montgomery College
Letter of Intent Signing for Smart Grid Project is Key Deliverable from 2015 Trade Mission
Governor Larry Hogan today announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) agreement between two of Korea’s largest energy firms and Montgomery College to build an environmentally-friendly microgrid on the school’s Germantown Campus. The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) joined with LS Industrial Systems (LSIS) to donate their technology and engineering services to the project, which will generate renewable solar energy. KEPCO President and CEO Dr. Hwan-Eik Cho, LSIS Chairman and CEO Dr. Ja-Kyun Koo and Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne Pollard signed the Letter of Intent agreement during a reception at the State House in Annapolis.
In May 2015, Governor Hogan led a 12-day economic development and trade mission to Korea, China, and Japan to strengthen economic ties with the region and foster positive relations between the Hogan administration and key Asian officials and business leaders.
“Maryland is very proud of our economic and cultural relationship with Korea, and our administration will continue to make those ties even stronger,” said Governor Hogan. “Today we are taking an important step in that direction as we ratify this Letter of Intent between KEPCO, in partnership with LSIS, and our very own Montgomery College, to build an environmentally-friendly microgrid right here in Maryland, representing KEPCO’s very first project of this kind in the United States.”
It is estimated that the smart grid will reduce the cost of electricity on the college’s Germantown Campus by 10 percent, saving about $100,000 per year. In addition, the smart grid will provide opportunities for Montgomery College students to learn about alternative energy systems and the potential to develop credit and/or noncredit curricula and internships.
The LOI between KEPCO, LSIS, and Montgomery College is a direct result of the Hogan administration’s trade mission to Korea last year. The mission culminated in more than 30 deliverables, including extensive engagement with KEPCO, who at the time was considering several states, Maryland among them, to establish a pilot smart grid project in the U.S. Ongoing discussions between Maryland officials and KEPCO resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State of Maryland and KEPCO in the fall of 2015, which seeks to help Maryland entities that are developing energy-related technologies find partners and customers in Korea. Since then, state officials in the Governor’s Office, Department of Commerce, and Maryland Energy Administration have collaborated to facilitate this partnership and bring the smart grid project to Maryland.
“We are grateful to Governor Hogan, Commerce Secretary Michael Gill, and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Benjamin Wu for their leadership in this venture,” said Dr. Pollard. “The college is proud of its burgeoning partnership with KEPCO and LS Industrial Systems. Their help will allow our Germantown Campus to become a microgrid demonstration project, expanding opportunities for teaching and learning about sustainable energy at the college.”
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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study.