Game Changers Program
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Game Changers Program

The Game Changers Grant Program provided grant funding on a competitive basis for new innovative and ‘game-changing’ energy systems. The program’s goal is to demonstrate innovative, replicable technologies, and strategies that help the Maryland meet its renewable energy goals and spur local economic development. The program evaluates the effectiveness of those systems through performance data collection, analysis, and system cost-benefit analysis. MEA publicizes projects and requires grantees to share certain project details in a final report that are made public.

​​Funding is currently not available for this Program as of July 1, 2017.

Recent Game Changers Grant Awardees

 

    In FY 2017, MEA awarded three Game Changers grants for the following projects:

  • Baltimore City – Community Resiliency Hubs: This project has identified four community centers in geographically diverse, low income neighborhoods of Baltimore City that meet the “resiliency hub” designation set by the City. These facilities (churches, community centers, recreation centers, etc.) would serve as emergency centers by providing access to shelter, electricity, and resources such as food, water, and medication in the event of a power outage or other emergency. MEA’s grant will lower the cost of the solar and energy storage systems as part of the project. 
  • A F Mensah – Grid Interactive Smart Homes: This project will use grant funds to equip 10 homes in Pepco service territory with a PV solar system, modular AC-battery system, advanced whole home power switch, load management devices, and enhanced solar PV inverters. The systems will be capable of accepting automated local controls and remote dispatch controls in order to demonstrate grid reliability and resiliency benefits at both the single home level as well as a portfolio at the distribution grid level. MEA’s grant will lower the cost of the solar and energy storage systems as part of the project.
  • Power52 – Community Resiliency Hubs: This project will create “resiliency hubs” by installing solar plus storage systems and backup diesel generators at three community centers in targeted investment zones (TIZ) of Eastern Baltimore City. These locations would serve as emergency community centers by providing access to shelter, electricity, and resources such as food, water, and medication in the event of a power outage or other emergency. In addition, the applicant would use these community centers as training centers for skills and safety standards utilized by the clean energy (solar and energy storage) industry(s). MEA’s grant will lower the cost of the solar and energy storage systems as part of the project.
  • In FY 2016, MEA awarded three Game Changers grants for the following projects:

  • Solar City – Large Scale Energy Storage System: This project will demonstrate an innovative demand management system called DemandLogic to improve reliability of a solar and lithium ion battery storage system. In addition, the system will help the Dorchester County Public School system realize additional savings through increased peak electricity demand reductions. MEA’s grant will lower the cost of the energy storage system as part of the project. Solar City will install the solar system and energy storage system at the North Dorchester Middle School in Dorchester, Maryland.
  • Delmarva Power and Light (DPL) – Advanced Battery, Inverter, and Grid Project: This project will demonstrate an integrated solar and battery storage system by addressing intermittency of the solar system, generate revenues from PJMs ancillary services market, and provide premium backup power. To support greater energy efficiency for the customer, the project will incorporate new controls and communications systems on voltage regulators and capacitors, in addition to installing dynamic reactive power devices on the customer’s low voltage transformers. This will enable future expansions of renewable energy on the circuit. MEA’s grant will lower the cost of the energy storage system as part of the project. DPL will install the entire project at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland.
  • Pivotal Power Solutions – Baltimore Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Storage and Electric Vehicle Project: This project incorporates an energy storage system and electric vehicle charging equipment with existing bio-gas reciprocating generators, a tier 1 renewable energy source. The project will generate revenues through PJM’s ancillary services market, including frequency regulation, peak electricity demand reduction, and load shaping. In addition, the project can provide premium backup power to the customer. The project will be installed at the Baltimore Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • In FY 2015, MEA awarded a Game Changers grant for the following project:

  • Manheim Baltimore-Washington - Game Changing Solar Racking System: This project demonstrates an innovative racking technology for solar photovoltaic canopies called the QuadPod by Quest Renewables. The racking system was designed to lower the cost of the steel canopy system, reduce the time it takes to install a racking system, and achieve safety benefits. The project was deployed in the parking lot at the Manheim Baltimore – Washington facility in Howard County, Maryland.
  • ManheimMarylandFinalReport.pdfManheimMarylandFinalReport.pdf
  • In FY 2014 MEA awarded two Game Changers grants for the following projects:

  • Direct Energy Solar - Pioneering Residential Energy Storage:  This project will implement an equipment leasing arrangement for up to 25 residential solar photovoltaic systems with backup battery storage. MEA’s grant will lower the cost of the energy storage system as part of the project. The grant in conjunction with revenue streams from PJM's frequency regulation market will explore whether solar plus storage could be a viable residential leasing option. The solar with battery backup will give homeowners greater control over energy generation and use. 
  • Connect DER - Plug and Play Solar for Maryland Homes:  This grant helped implement a new technology to reduce the soft costs of solar at ten Maryland households.  The device streamlined residential solar photovoltaic system connection to the electric grid, in some cases eliminating the need to have an electrician enter the household. This innovative technology uses a specialized load side connection behind the utility meter to reduce installation times and the significant non-hardware costs associated with residential solar.
  • ConnectDERFinalReport.pdfConnectDERFinalReport.pdf​​
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Contact

For questions, suggestions or more information, please contact Samuel Beirne via e-mail at gamchangers.mea@maryland.gov or phone at 410-537-4090.

gamechangers.mea@maryland.gov

410-537-4​090​