Regulators in Maryland have unanimously voted to expand the capacity of the state’s community solar program as well as improve access for low- and moderate-income (LMI) customer participation in the state’s Community Solar Pilot Program.
According to the Coalition for Community Solar Access, the expansion of the program will allow community solar to power the equivalent of an additional 6,840 Maryland homes, annually. The expansion also changed development regulations, allowing community solar projects to be built on clean-fill construction sites, transforming previously unusable industrial locations into clean solar energy generation sites.
“Community solar is an integral part of Maryland’s clean energy future and has already produced major benefits for residents,” said State Delegate Luke Clippinger of the expansion. “We cannot achieve our climate and renewable energy goals without community solar.”
In 2019, Governor Larry Hogan (R) has signed into law HB 683, a bill which expanded the community solar program through 2022, at which point the Public Service Commission (PSC) is to deliver a long-term path for proceeding with the program or one of a similar structure.
Under that expansion, 30% of program capacity was still set aside for low-to-moderate income customers wishing to participate and another 30% for development on brownfield sites. The program has been considered a success thus far, and the new expansion should serve to continue the program’s momentum while making it more accessible to citizens.
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