143 MW of distributed solar goes online in VA, DC, MD, DE


Solar installation crews in the region spanning Virginia to Delaware put up more than 7400 small-scale (under 1 MW) solar PV systems in the year to September 2018, totaling 143 MW.

While Maryland had the most installations by far, Delaware held second place in solar per capita, while Washington, DC narrowed Delaware’s lead over DC in the per-capita standing.  Virginia’s progress with utility-scale solar is not shown. 

Installation data are from PJM Interconnection’s GATS database of renewable generators, while data on megawatts installed are from EIA’s Form EIA-861M.  Snapshot stories are provided below.

Note that the installation count for Virginia in particular may understate the actual number, because some small projects do not register in PJM GATS, according to a PJM spokesperson.  This may be especially the case for Virginia, which “does not currently have a viable market” in solar renewable energy certificates “as there is no solar carve-out,” according to SRECTrade.

“It is impossible to ignore the importance of state policy in the solar industry,” said Executive Director David Murray of the regional chapter of the Solar Energy Industries Association, MDV-SEIA, which serves the region from Virginia to Delaware.  MDV-SEIA, having advocated for the 100% renewables mandate in DC, now aims to raise the solar carve-outs in Maryland and Delaware “to revitalize the local industry,” he said.  In Virginia, which has no renewables mandate, Mr. Murray said the group is working with utilities and municipal utilities to expand access to power purchase agreements, remove standby charges on systems larger than 10 kW, and compensate solar customers for the value they provide to the grid.

Here are the “snapshot stories” provided by solar installation firms, presenting projects from the past year:


This 81 kW system will provide community solar to 29 homes in the area, from the roof of a District of Columbia church. Installed by New Columbia Solar.

Image: New Columbia Solar


This 891.33 kW carport array serves a corporate customer in Newark, Delaware. Installed by CMI Solar & Electric, Inc.

Image: CMI Solar and Electric


This 709 kW-DC installation uses rooftops, a parking garage deck and surface parking to maximize generation for a Maryland corporation. Installed by Standard Solar.

Image: Standard Solar


This 724.5 kW solar array powers a conditioned distribution center in Harrisonburg, VA. Installed by Secure Futures of Staunton, VA.

Image: Sam Stoner, Secure Futures

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