Maryland Boosts Solar With New Renewable Energy Legislation


Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., has signed into law several new energy measures. The laws include the Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act of 2010, which extends the termination date of the clean energy incentive tax credit to Dec. 31, 2015.

The bill also extends to Jan. 1, 2016, the date by which a facility must begin producing qualified energy in order to claim the credit, and prohibits the Maryland Energy Administration from issuing an initial credit certificate for less than $1,000. The bill also makes the clean energy incentive tax credit refundable.

In addition, O'Malley signed S.B.277, which increases the percentage requirements of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) portions that must be purchased from Tier 1 solar energy sources each year between 2011 and 2016. The bill also increases the alternative compliance payment for a shortfall in solar RPS requirements by $0.05/kWh over the current amount in 2011 and 2012, by $0.10/kWh between 2013 and 2016.

The compliance fee payments are used to fund clean energy programs, including solar grants issued by the Maryland Energy Administration, notes Gaithersburg, Md.-based solar developer, integrator and installer Standard Solar, which praised O'Malley for signing the new legislation.

Finally, O'Malley signed S.B.278/H.B.474, which repeals the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland and establishes a Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission. The Maryland Department of Planning must provide staff support for the commission. The commission must submit an annual report on its activities and recommendations to the governor, the presiding officers and specified committees of the General Assembly.

SOURCES: Office Of Gov. Martin O'Malley, Standard Solar

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