Last week, on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Maryland Senate passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) 33-13. Senate Bill 516 most notably increases the Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% renewable energy by 2030. The bill also substantially increases the state’s Solar REC program bumping the 2019 solar requirement to 5.5% and increasing until it reaches 14.5% in 2028 and onward.
For the legislation to progress, the Maryland House Economics Matters Committee would need to bring it forward and be voted on favorably on the floor of the House. The bill would then ultimately be sent onward to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk. Governor Hogan will then need to sign the bill or let it pass without his signature to put the bill into law. While uncertainty remains on Governor Hogan’s view on the legislation, some believe his recently shared perspective demonstrates positive support.
Since the Senate voted in favor of the bill, the House hasn’t taken action on the matter yet. On Monday, March 25, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) put his support behind the bill. Senator Van Hollen sent a letter to House Economic Matters Chair Dereck Davis explaining why time is of the essence. Specifically Van Hollen noted that delaying the legislation until next year could result in the loss of nearly $250 million in federal investment tax credit (ITC) dollars. Additionally, further delay could continue to hurt the solar jobs market in the state. Maryland lost 800 solar industry jobs in 2018, ranking it 47th in solar growth in the U.S.
As of now, the bill awaits action in the House. Not much time remains in the current general session, which is scheduled to adjourn on Monday, April 8. SRECTrade will continue to monitor these proceedings closely and update our partners and clients with any new information.