Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., has signed into law the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard for Solar Energy and Solar Water Heating Systems bill (S.B.791 and H.B.1187), which accelerates the target date for achieving the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) 2% solar carve-out by two years.
Each incremental solar requirement from 2013 to 2021 was increased slightly, so that the state now reaches the 2% mark in 2020 rather than in 2022. The final carve-out amount remains unchanged.
In April, when S.B.791 cleared the state Senate after intensive lobbying efforts, Francis Hodsoll, executive director of the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association, hailed the legislation as a ‘huge victory.’
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the legislation will ensure that Maryland's solar sector maintains positive year-over-year job growth. It is expected to create 10,000 new local jobs between now and 2018, with a strong concentration in the construction industry.
‘The state's RPS policy has worked,’ says Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. ‘We've seen a dramatic decline in the cost of solar energy, rapid job growth and tens of millions of dollars in economic expansion. But a potential market distortion would dramatically constrain growth of solar in Maryland.’