The Maryland Energy Administration announced grant recipients for the Fiscal Year 2019 Solar Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program (parking lot PV/EV Program). This program combines two corresponding technologies, solar photovoltaic (PV) and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Since Governor Larry Hogan took office in January of 2015, the state has almost quadrupled Maryland’s solar energy output from 258 megawatts to 980 megawatts.
“This energy-generating program offers a wide variety of incentives for Maryland businesses, nonprofits, and residents alike,” said Governor Hogan. “Solar is an important part of our state’s renewable energy goals, and our administration is committed to further encouraging growth in this industry while expanding access for our citizens.”
This grant program delivers clean energy to the host facility that will reduce electricity demand from the grid. This year, 10 grants for the program were awarded. As a result, 2019 grantees will construct an additional 10,931 kilowatts of renewable solar energy, and 47 new EV chargers will be added to the state’s charging network. The solar canopy program began in 2014 and has helped to fund 24 projects in Maryland to date.
“This program was carefully crafted to combine clean energy generation, and expand EV charging options for drivers,” said Mary Beth Tung, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “The potential for this program is massive, especially in Maryland’s urban areas. It solves energy access issues in a cost-effective way.”
Maryland has thousands of acres of parking lot space in suburban/urban areas. Parking lots represent an exceptional opportunity; by placing solar PV canopies on parking pads, the canopies provide power to the facilities accompanying the lots and provide shade and snow protection for vehicles. The parking lot PV/EV program addresses challenges faced by solar developers in building these canopies, specifically, the additional costs of the canopy structure.
IKEA Baltimore and IKEA College Park will purchase and install two solar canopy structures over their parking areas that will total 2,576.70 kilowatts. IKEA’s 2019 solar canopy grant of $400,000 dollars supplements existing rooftop solar arrays which more than doubles each location’s green energy generation. In addition to the increased solar energy, a total of eight new EV chargers will be added for customer and employee use. Both installations are being developed by REC Solar and will be highly visible to automobile traffic near the store.
North Harford High School, in Harford County Public Schools district, is the first high school to have a solar canopy in the state’s program. The school will host a 500.25 kilowatt solar canopy and the EV chargers under the canopy will be open to all for use. The system will be owned and installed by Pfister Energy of Baltimore under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). A PPA is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing, and installation of a solar energy system on a customer's property at little to no upfront cost.
Maryland’s Seventh Day Adventist Church will install two solar canopy structures, one at their General Conference headquarters in Columbia, Md. and a second solar canopy at their North American Division building in Silver Spring, Md. The two combined solar structures will total 3,329 kilowatts and will be owned and installed by Standard Solar via a PPA.
The ultimate goal of this grant program is to increase awareness and acceptance of the solar canopy and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and to encourage incorporation of these technologies in the parking lot design process. Funding for the program comes from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund, which is funded by public auctions of carbon credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. A list of awards can be found here.
Maryland Energy Administration | http://www.energy.maryland.gov