Maryland opens energy-storage tax credit program

Maryland was an early adapter for solar electricity, creating a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) with a solar carve-out in 2007. But as the solar industry continued to mature, Maryland’s leadership gave way to other innovative states that designed new policies to encourage solar while the Free State stood pat.

There are signs, however, that Maryland may have decided it wants to renew its leadership position – most recently with the launch of what it says is the first energy-storage tax credit pilot program in the country. On Monday, the program officially started taking applications.

Administered by the Maryland Energy Administration, the program currently has $750,000 to distribute in tax credits to encourage the addition of storage systems to existing renewable energy systems, with $225,000 reserved for residential solar customers and $525,000 reserved for commercial taxpayers. If either of the segments becomes oversubscribed, qualifying applicants will be placed on  a wait list as long as money is still available. On October 1, any remaining funds will be allocated to customers on the waitlist on a first come, first served basis. 2018 applicants on the waitlist will not be able to carry their eligibility into the 2019 tax year and will have to reapply if the program continues,

“Maryland is making our mark in the energy sector with this first in the nation, energy storage tax credit,” said Mary Beth Tung, director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “This tax credit empowers all Marylanders to support grid resiliency and serves as a model for all other 49 states.”

The pilot program announcement comes on the heels of the introduction of two bills – one on the Senate (SB 732) and one in the House (HB 1453) – designed to double the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% and the solar carve-out to 14.5% by 2028, a move the state’s solar industry says will increase investment by $11 billion and create 20,000 new jobs.