Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, recently signed HB1087 and SB398. The bills help make community shared solar possible in the state of Maryland.
Community Shared Solar Overview
Community shared solar is a way for residents and businesses who could not otherwise go solar to benefit from the various financial, energy saving, and environmental advantages of solar energy. Community members can own a portion of a nearby solar installation and subsequently receive financial or energy savings through credits to their utility bill. Community shared solar is important because it gives homeowners and business with unsuitable roofs the opportunity to procure power from distributed generation solar resources. Also, individuals or businesses renting a home or office can also benefit from the community solar utility bill crediting system. Community solar could have a substantial impact on a large number of people that are not able to go solar. In a recent report, the Department of Energy and NREL estimate that 49% of households and 48% of businesses are unable to go solar because they lack sufficient roof space or are renters.
Maryland Community Shared Solar Program Details
The pilot program will run for three years, during which the state will see its first community shared solar projects built.
The program allows for utility ownership of community solar projects and also requires that utilities buy back unused electricity from privately developed solar facilities. Similar to other photovolatic (PV) and solar thermal projects, community solar projects in the state will participate in the Maryland Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program.
In addition to the pilot program, the state will study the costs & benefits of community shared solar to Maryland. The study is intended to provide the basis for a General Assembly vote to create a permanent community shared solar program.