Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program

What is the program?

What projects are eligible?

How do I apply?

To help Maryland business owners invest in clean energy, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provides grants for solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, geothermal heating & cooling, and wind turbine systems at incentive levels outlined in the two charts below.

For more information, read our Goals and Incentives.

For information on the new Parking Lot Solar PV Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program, please see our Parking Lot PV/EV Program page.

  • Installations must be located in Maryland.
  • A project may not receive more than one grant.
  • Applications have to be submitted to MEA within 12 months of installation.
  • MEA cannot offer grants to a property held in a trust.
  • Multiple projects on contiguous parcels of property will be considered one project.

For more information, see our Project Requirements.

Please download the application form, complete it according to the provided instructions, and mail it to:

Maryland Energy Administration
Attn: Residential Clean Energy Grant Program
60 West Street, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

For more information, read The Grant Process.


Goals and Incentives

This photo shows an under construction solar array.

Related programs

Already applied? Check your award status

Increasing the amount of renewable energy is one of the State’s key policy goals. The Maryland Energy Administration is tasked with achieving the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Currently, the
RPS requires that 20% of energy sold in Maryland in 2022 come from qualified renewable energy resources, with 2% coming from qualified solar resources.

As of July 1, 2012, MEA recalculated the clean energy grant incentives based on several factors including available funds, economies of scale, a desire for more equitable distribution of funds, the cost of clean energy technologies, capacity factors, potential annual production, and data analysis from past clean energy awards. In September 2012, MEA adjusted the SWH installed capacity ranges, but kept the same total award cap, to encourage larger installed systems. Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program (CEGP) projects are eligible for either Small or Large Commercial grants, depending on installed capacity as defined in the following tables:

Small Commercial Clean Energy Grant Incentives
Resource Conversion Technology Installed Capacity Range Award/Capacity Unit
Solar Photovoltaics (PV) 1-99.99 kW $60/kW
Solar Water Heating (SWH) 50-249.99 sq. ft. $20/sq. ft.
Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) 1-24.99 tons $180/ton
Wind Please see the Windswept Grant Program page.

 

Large Commercial Clean Energy Grant Incentives
Resource Conversion Technology Installed Capacity Range Award/Capacity Unit
Solar Photovoltaics (PV) 100-200 kW $30/kW
Solar Water Heating (SWH) 250-1,200 sq. ft. $10/sq. ft. (with total award capped at $5,000/project)
Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) 25-50 tons $90/ton
Wind Please see the Windswept Grant Program page.

Grants are allocated on a first come/first served basis across technologies and are subject to change in amount and existence based on funding availability.

Project Requirements

The project requirements are as follows:

  • Installations must be located in Maryland.
  • A project may not receive more than one grant.
  • Applications have to be submitted to MEA within 12 months of installation.
  • MEA cannot offer grants to a property held in a trust.
  • Multiple projects on contiguous parcels of property will be considered one project.

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The Grant Process

The following is a basic overview of the Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program process:

Business owners will need to decide if they or their installer will be the Primary Point of Contact (PPC) who will be responsible for ensuring grant documentation is submitted in a timely, accurate, and complete manner.

There are essentially two packages that the PPC must complete:

1. Grant Application Package. The application package documents are electronic, allowing certain data to be validated for form and content.

2. Grant Completion Package. After MEA sends the Grant Commitment Letter to the PPC upon project completion, the PPC will need to submit the Completion Package.

If you are a solar leasing company operating in Maryland, please contact cegp@energy.state.md.us for a grant lease application.

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Additional Information

Historic Review

Since MEA is required to assess the impact of Clean Energy Grants on historic resources, applicants must “pre-screen” their projects to reduce the odds of applications being rejected on historic preservation grounds. Prominent installations of clean energy systems on historic properties or properties within historic areas will not qualify for this grant program.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact MEA’s historic preservation specialist via email at historic@energy.state.md.us.

Projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, have to be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (“NABCEP”) Installation Certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant.

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NABCEP Installation

Solar photovoltaic projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, must be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (“NABCEP”) installation certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant.

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Tax Status of Clean Energy Grants

The Maryland Office of the Comptroller has determined that, based on IRS rules, a state grant is considered taxable income. Therefore, a Form 1099-G will be issued for grants received through the Clean Energy Grant Program. They should be reported as income on federal tax returns.

Update (July 20, 2012): The Clean Energy Grant Program is operating under new program funding authority — the Strategic Energy Investment Fund — which affects how clean energy technologies are taxed. As of July 2012, all clean energy grants may now be taxable at the federal and state level — a change from previous funding authority which exempted clean energy grants from being considered taxable income at the state level. Applicants should consult a qualified tax professional for additional information.

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Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

To help Maryland home and business owners realize the benefits of solar energy, Maryland manages the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) program. Owners of solar photovoltaic systems can earn and sell SRECs (equivalent to 1 Megawatt hour) based on the amount of energy their solar system produces on the open market.

SB717 expanded the solar RPS to include solar water heating systems. All solar water heating systems “commissioned on or after June 1, 2011” will produce SRECs.

Electricity suppliers must purchase and retire solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) in order to meet their compliance obligations under the law, or pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) for any shortfalls in SREC purchases. The SACP operates as a theoretical ceiling on the price that a supplier would pay for SRECs to fulfill obligations under the Maryland RPS. In Maryland the SACP is set at $400 per MWh for 2009 - 2014. Under this system, SRECs may represent a significant source of revenue for owners of qualifying solar facilities, with a value determined by demand in the trading market.

In order to begin producing SRECs for the Maryland RPS, a solar generator must apply for certification as a qualifying generator from the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC).

  • The SRECs FAQ document provides additional details about how to register systems and sell SRECs.
  • The PJM-GATS Public Reports web site contains a variety useful data, including monthly weighted average SREC trading prices for Maryland and other states.

 

Update (June 12, 2012): Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems in the RPS

With 2012 HB 1186, Maryland became the first state in the country to make the energy generated by Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) technologies eligible for the RPS as a Tier 1 renewable source. To qualify, the GHC technologies must meet ENERGY STAR standards and displace electric or non-natural gas heating, and/or old and presumed inefficient air conditioning. Businesses will be eligible to receive Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for GHC systems that are commissioned on or after January 1, 2013.

 

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Other Resources

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Contact

For more information or assistance, email cegp@energy.state.md.us or call 410-260-7183.