Nautilus acquires 23 MW of community solar assets in Maryland


Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC acquired two community solar portfolios in Maryland totaling 23 MW, comprised of six projects spread across the state. Expected to be operational by 2024, the projects will serve over 5,000 Maryland subscribers residing in the Pepco and BG&E utility territories.

Currently about 75% of Maryland households lack the ability to deploy rooftop solar systems based on inadequate roofing or shade conditions, as well as rentals or condominiums prohibiting access to solar systems, according to the Sierra Club. Community solar projects can offer a solution to that suitability problem. These small to mid-scale solar facilities typically sited on private land, commercial rooftops, landfills, industrial sites and other preferred areas in proximity to the utility customers they’re intended to serve.

Maryland was an early adopter of community solar, with a community solar pilot program launched in 2018. Maryland recently became the 23rd state with a permanent community solar program that became law when HB 908 was voted on in May of this year. HB 908 requires at least 40% of solar capacity dedicated to benefit low-to-moderate income (LMI) customers, intended to ensure that historically disadvantaged Marylanders have equitable access to electric bill savings at a time when inflated energy prices are driving up household energy costs.

The new community solar bill replaces the pilot program and eliminates the pilot’s cap of 580 MW of community solar. The new program incentivizes the development of projects on a greater variety of sites, including commercial and industrial rooftops, brownfield sites, as well as on farmland.

Nautilus is no stranger to community solar in Maryland, having been an early participant in the community solar pilot program. The company owns and manages nearly 90 MW of operational and late-stage development projects in the state, which provides clean renewable power to tens of thousands of Marylanders.

“Our focus is not just on producing clean energy but ensuring that the benefits, particularly the cost savings, reach every Marylander, especially those from low-to-moderate income backgrounds and historically disadvantaged communities,” said Eric Paul, vice president of partner development at Nautilus.

Nautilus Solar Energy specializes in community solar, managing solar farms in 10 states. In January Nautilus reached an agreement to acquire a nine-project portfolio with 54 MW of community solar assets from Seaboard Solar, a Connecticut-based utility solar developer. In 2022 Nautilus acquired two community solar portfolios in Maine with five projects under development totaling 26.2 MW in total capacity. In June the company completed a 2.8 MW community solar project in Upstate New York, the first of three in the service area of Orange and Rockland and expects to bring the next two projects online in Q3.

Founded in 2006, Nautilus was acquired in 2019 by Power Corporation of Canada.

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