Community Solar

 
The Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program commenced in April 2017.  We offer both programs for Commercial Community Solar and for Residential Community Solar. 
 
NEW- Related Program - Community Solar Guaranty Program
 
NEW - Related Program - Community Solar LMI PPA Program


Commercial Community Solar

The Maryland Commerical Community Solar allows Maryland businesses to purchase subscriptions for energy from community solar arrays, gaining the same economic advantages as having solar modules directly on the roof of their business.  In support of this program, the Maryland Energy Administration developed the Commercial Community Solar Grant Program.  The program provides a monetary incentive for Maryland businesses who wish to purchase (own) the energy benefits of the array.  For most Maryland businesses, the incentive matches the incentive provided to commercial entities under the Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program    Subscriptions must be to a community solar array within the subscriber’s electric utility service area.  Incentive will not exceed 100% of the smaller of the business’s annual energy use or 200kW.  This grant program may not be used for subscriptions to arrays under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).  Read on below for more information. 
 
Residential Community Solar

 
The Maryland Residential Community Solar program allows Maryland residents to purchase subscriptions for energy from community solar arrays, gaining the same economic advantages as having solar modules directly on their residence.  In support of this program, the Maryland Energy Administration developed the Residential Community Solar Grant Program.  The program provides a monetary incentive for Maryland residents who wish to purchase (own) the energy benefits of the array.  For most Maryland residents, the incentive matches the incentive provided to homeowners under the Residential Clean Energy Grant Program.  Low to moderate (LMI) residents who subscribe to a community solar array under an ownership model are incentivized at a higher rate.    Subscriptions must be to a community solar array within the subscriber’s electric utility service area.  Incentive will not exceed 100% of the resident’s annual energy use (although the subscription may be up to 13 kW).  This grant program may not be used for subscriptions to arrays under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).  Read on below for more information. 
 

Residential Community Solar Grant Program Incentives

 

Incentive: 

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is tasked with achieving the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Currently, the RPS requires that 25% of energy sold in Maryland in 2020 come from qualified renewable energy resources, with 2.5% of the energy coming from qualified in-state solar resources. As such, MEA is seeking to increase the amount of solar energy produced and used within the State. Solar incentives are not designed to pay for the system outright, but to work with other federal, state, local and utility incentives to push a questionable decision toward solar adoption.

 

Residential

Residential Community Solar Gr​ant Program Incentives​​​ ​ ​​
Non Low\Moderate Income Category​​
​$80/kW
​The maximum incentive size is equal to the smaller of 100% of annual energy use [1] (measured in kWh) divided by 1250 kWh/kW; or 13 kW).
Low/Moderate Income Category
​$240/kW
The maximum incentive size is equal to the smaller of 100% of annual energy use (measured in kWh) divided by 1250 kWh/kW; or 13 kW).
 
 


Commercial 

 
Residential Community Solar Gr​ant Program Incentives​​​ ​ ​
Business  Category
$100/kW
​The maximum incentive size is equal to the smaller of 100% of annual energy use  (measured in kWh) divided by 1250 kWh/kW; or 200 kW).

Multiple Grants to the Same Residence​

Only one grant may be granted per residence.  Different apartment numbers at a single address constitute separate residences.  Subscriptions to multiple arrays at approximately the same time (within days) will be treated (for incentive purposes) as if it is a single subscription (even though a separate application must be submitted for each array).  A person is eligible for a single grant.  Except as noted above, subsequent subscriptions are not eligible for a subsequent grant. 

Tax Status of Community Solar Grants

The Residential Community Solar Grant Program is operating under the Strategic Energy Investment Fund which affects how clean energy technologies are taxed. All clean energy grants
may be taxable at the federal and state level. Applicants should consult a qualified tax professional for additional information. ​

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 [1] Annual energy use is 1) total electricity use (in kWh) from the previous calendar year, or 2) total electricity use (in kWh) from the previous 12 month of available electric bills.  (The applicant picks which of the two methods provides the best value for the annual energy use).​​

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Project Requirements

 

Residential

  • ​The subscription must be for a solar array in the same Utility Service Area as the applicant/resident.
  • Only one grant may be awarded to a single residence.  If subscriptions are purchased from multiple arrays at approximately the same time, they will be treated as if they were a single purchase on a single date (although application must occur for each subscription).
  • Grants are only available for the initial residential purchase of the subscription from the Subscriber
    Organization (not for resales).
  • The subscription must be structured in an ownership model, i.e.  to credit the energy production to the applicant (i.e. the output of 16 panels, 3% of the array output) and not be a power purchase agreement (or equivalent).
  • Projects must produce creditable power to the applicant by June 1, 2019.  (Creditable power is power used to compute the applicant’s monthly energy bill).
  • A listing of applicants must be provided by the Subscription Organization to the Maryland Energy Administration no later than June 1, 2019.
  • Projects must be part of the Community Solar Pilot Program – Subscriber Organizations must have a subscriber number issued by the Maryland Public Service Commission.
  • The project must meet requirements of the Maryland Historic Trust.
  • Subscriptions may not exceed 13 kW; incentives will not exceed the smaller of 100% of annual energy use divided by 1250 kWh/kW, or 13 kW.​

Commercial

  • The subscription must be for a solar array in the same Utility Service Area as the applicant/business.
  • Only one grant may be awarded to a single business.  If subscriptions are purchased from multiple arrays at approximately the same time, they will be treated as if they were a single purchase on a single date (although application must occur for each subscription).
  • Grants are only available for the initial purchase of the subscription from the Subscriber Organization (not for resales).​
  • The subscription must be structured in an ownership model, i.e.  to credit the energy production to the applicant (i.e. the output of 16 panels, 3% of the array output) and not be a power purchase agreement (or equivalent).
  • Projects must produce creditable power to the applicant by June 1, 2019.  (Creditable power is power used to compute the applicant’s monthly energy bill).
  • A listing of applicants must be provided by the Subscription Organization to the Maryland Energy Administration no later than June 1, 2019.
  • Projects must be part of the Community Solar Pilot Program – Subscriber Organizations must have a subscriber number issued by the Maryland Public Service Commission.
  • The project must meet requirements of the Maryland Historic Trust.
  • Subscriptions may not exceed 200 kW; incentives will not exceed the smaller of 100% of annual energy use divided by 1250 kWh/kW, or 200 kW.
 

Additional Information

 

​Historic Review

The Maryland Energy Administration will not pay residential Community Solar Grants for projects that that would be found to cause adverse effects on a historic property.  MEA makes this determination, in consultation with the Maryland Historic Trust.  As such, Subscriber Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit their projects to MEA for historic property screening in order to reduce the odds of applications being rejected on the grounds of historic preservation. Prominent installations of clean energy systems on historic properties or properties within historic areas will not qualify for this grant program.  Subscriber Organizations should:

NABCEP

To be eligible for a Residential Community Solar Grant, projects 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.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Projects must be connected to the distribution grid serving Maryland and register for Solar Renewable Energy Credits.  For information concerning SREC registration, consult the PJM EIS website at https://www.pjm-eis.com/ ​​


The Grant Process

 

Note: The Community Solar Grant Program is a 2 step program. 

Step 1:  Application Form:  After a subscription has been sold, the Subscriber Organization fills out (or provides to the subscriber) the subscription organization portion of the application (Sections C1
and C2).  After reading the program Terms and Conditions, the subscriber completes the application, signs and dates the application, and provides one copy to the Subscriber Organization. (The
Subscriber Organization must have a Community Solar Pilot Program subscription organization number from the Maryland Public Service Commission).  The applicant then includes his/her social
security number and mails it to the Maryland Energy Administration. Upon receipt of a completed and valid application form, MEA will encumber funding for the grant.

If the applicant is applying at the Low/Moderate Income rate, the applicant will authorize the Subscriber Organization to certify to MEA that the applicant meets the LMI requirements.  If the Subscriber Organization does not verify the subscriber’s LMI status, MEA will pay at the standard (non-LMI) rate.

Step 2:  Subscriber Organization Verification:  Upon project completion, the subscriber organization will forward to MEA a listing of subscribers who applied for the Residential Community Solar Grant that are also being provided to the utility as being initial subscribers.  The list will identify those subscribers who meet Low and LMI status.  The subscriber organization will provide a detailed statement describing how the LMI status was certified.  If Subscriber Organization utilizes a 3rd party to verify LMI status, they will provide a detailed statement describing how the status was certified.  

Upon receiving the certified applicant listing/forms from the Subscriber Organization, as well as their certification of creditable energy production, and method of certifying LMI status, MEA will issue grants to applicants.​

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Contact Information​

For more information or assistance, email David.Comis@Maryland.gov​ or call 410-537-4064.​​​​​​​