The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced awards for the 2019 Community Solar Low-and-Moderate Income Power Purchase Agreement (Community Solar LMI PPA) grant program. Just over $2.8 million dollars will be awarded to nine projects, which will provide 8.6 megawatts of solar generated energy to the Low and Moderate Income (LMI) community. Awards for the 2019 grant go to two Maryland companies: Power52 Foundation in Ellicott City and SGC Power in Elkridge. “Now, low-to-moderate income Marylanders will be able to directly benefit from solar energy, whether they are homeowners or renters,” stated MEA Director Mary Beth Tung. “This program opens the next phase for Maryland’s clean, sustainable energy generation, and lowers Green House Gas emissions,” concluded Tung. The grant allows Maryland residents who are not able to install solar energy on their rooftops, to still support renewable energy and achieve the same benefits from the utility company as if solar panels were actually on their roof. This program incentivizing community solar subscriber organizations to include terms and conditions in their subscription agreements, which maximize cost savings for LMI subscribers. Low and moderate income households benefit from cost savings, protective, low price escalation rates and short subscription terms available from projects.
Community Solar LMI PPA projects will be installed in Baltimore, Cecil, Howard, Prince George’s and Washington counties which extend over the BGE, Delmarva and Potomac Edison utility service areas. 2019 award overview:
Applications were reviewed based on amount of electricity savings, project cost-effectiveness, number and types of energy conservation measures implemented, leveraged funding sources, and project feasibility. Applicants pursuing projects with numerous and diverse energy conservation measures, leveraged funding sources, and the inclusion of innovative technologies could earn bonus points in the review.
This program is only open to subscriber organizations who have been assigned LMI capacity under the Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program or those projects subscribing at least 51% of their energy to LMI subscribers. Because the incentives are designed for a 20-year lifetime, subscriber organizations must pass down grant conditions to new owners in any subsequent sale/change of control of the project. This program was designed specifically around the needs of the LMI community. The PPA element of this program ensures that LMI residents bear no up-front costs for participation. Additional, all subscriber organizations must offer flexible contract terms and provide a significant cost-savings for all their customers. The overall Maryland Community Solar program launched in April of 2017, and is a multiphase program.
Maryland Energy Administration | http://www.energy.maryland.gov