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Game Changers Program

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is excited to announce the FY17 Game Changers Program. The Game Changers Program supports Maryland’s energy and carbon reduction goals by pairing renewable energy systems with “game changing” technologies. Through the Game Changers Program, MEA seeks to demonstrate cutting edge technologies and storage applications, with a goal of encouraging replication of systems that can advance the market for renewable energy in Maryland. MEA will publicize projects and require grantees to share certain project details in a final report that will be made public.​

Applications must be submitted by NOON ON DECEMBER 1, 2016 to:

gamechangers.mea@maryland.gov

Please send digital applications as Adobe PDF attachments.

OR

Game Changers Pr​ogram

Maryland Energy Administration

1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 755

Baltimore City, MD 21230

Program Overview

 

MEA is accepting applications from qualified applicants including for-profit businesses, non-profits, and government entities located in Maryland. Organizations representing Maryland’s diverse minority communities are encouraged to apply. 

This is a competitive grant program with awards expected to range from $50,000 to $250,000 per award. A total in an amount up to $1,000,000 is available through the program (subject to funding availability). Applicants are expected to contribute at least 70% of total project costs. 

MEA will provide grants to qualified applicants on a competitive basis for two (2) specific areas of interest.


Area of Interest 1:

  • Innovative technologies that are expected to reduce the cost or increase the efficiency of traditional Tier 1 renewable energy systems while driving economic development opportunities

Area of Interest 2: 

  • Customer-sited electric storage systems that are integrated with a Tier 1 renewable energy source.  MEA will only consider systems that provide a quantifiable reliability or resiliency benefit, demonstrate an innovative use case for storage, and drive economic development opportunities. Examples of innovative use cases may include the potential for storage to mitigate intermittency from on-site renewable generation, to manage on-site demand during times of highest need, or to provide another benefit to the host customer or electric system more generally, including utility distribution systems and wholesale markets.

Applications will be evaluated competitively according to evaluation criteria set forth in the Funding​ Opportunity Announcement (FOA)​. In addition to the Game Changers Program Application, supporting documents may also be required. Please be sure to review the FOA and the Application so that you submit a complete application package.

Program Timeline

 

Timeline:

September 2016: FY 2017 Game Changers Program is announced.

November 4, 2016: Deadline for written questions at 5 p.m.

December 1, 2016: Applications due by noon 

January 2017: Individual applicants deemed eligible for further consideration may be invited for in-person presentations.

March 2017: Target for announcement of awards.*

May 2017: Target for having grant agreements signed (projects begin).


*Note: Due to the novel nature of certain storage projects, MEA anticipates that some projects may require coordination with the local utility. In such a case, MEA may make a conditional award until such a time that MEA and the awardee have finalized a scope of work for the project. This scope of work will be informed by a discussion between MEA, the awardee, and the electric utility in whose territory the project will operate to review the technical requirements of the project.​

Program Documents

Recent Game Changers Grant Awardees

 

In May 2015, MEA awarded a Game Changers 3.0 grant for the following project:


  • Manheim Baltimore-Washington: Game Changing Solar Racking System. This project will demonstrate 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 developer, Inman Solar, will deploy the system in the parking lot at the Manheim Baltimore – Washington facility in Howard County, Maryland.


In June 2014 MEA announced two (2) Game Changers 2.0 grants for the following projects:


  • Astrum Solar: Pioneering Residential Energy Storage.  Astrum 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 battery backup 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. 

  • Infinite Invention: Plug and Play Solar for Maryland Homes.  This grant will help to implement a new technology to reduce the soft costs of solar at ten Maryland households.  The device will streamline residential solar photovoltaic system connection to the electric grid, in some cases eliminating the need to have an electrician enter the household. This inventive 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.
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Contact

For more questions, additional information or assistance, please contact Samuel Beirne.

Samuel Beirne

gamechangers.mea@maryland.gov

410-537-4​090​