The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) recently announced grants under its low- and moderate-income (LMI) power purchase agreement (PPA) community solar program.
Just over $2.8 million will be awarded to nine projects, which will provide 8.6 MW of solar-generated energy to the LMI community. Two Maryland companies are receiving the grants: Power52 Foundation of Ellicott City and SGC Power of Elkridge.
“Now, low- to moderate-income Marylanders will be able to directly benefit from solar energy, whether they are homeowners or renters,” says Mary Beth Tung, MEA’s director. “This program opens the next phase for Maryland’s clean, sustainable energy generation and lowers greenhouse-gas emissions.”
The community solar projects will be installed in Baltimore, Cecil, Howard, Prince George’s and Washington counties, which extend over the BGE, Delmarva and Potomac Edison utility service areas.
Power 52 Foundation will install two 2.5 MW community solar arrays in Howard county, producing 7,750 MWh of renewable energy, which is enough to power 650 households annually.
SGC Power will install seven community solar arrays totaling 16,612 MW in Cecil (2), Washington (2), Baltimore (2) and Prince George’s counties. These arrays are expected to produce over 24,000 MWh of renewable energy, which is enough to power over 2,000 households annually.
MEA says applications were reviewed based on electricity savings, cost-effectiveness, number and types of energy conservation measures implemented, leveraged funding sources, and project feasibility.
Because the grants are designed for a 20-year lifetime, subscriber organizations must pass down grant conditions to new owners in any subsequent sale/change of control of the project.
According to MEA, this program was designed specifically around the needs of the LMI community. The PPA element of the program ensures that LMI residents bear no upfront costs for participation. Additionally, all subscriber organizations must offer flexible contract terms and provide significant cost-savings for all customers. Maryland’s overall community solar program, which launched in April 2017, is a multi-phase program.