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Grant application deadline extended to April 15, 2019 on a first come, first served basis.

Resiliency Hub

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announces the opening of the FY19 Resiliency Hub
Grant Program. This program provides funding to partially recompense solar/microgrid developers
for costs incurred in the development and construction of Resiliency Hubs within high density, Low
and Moderate Income (LMI) neighborhoods in Maryland. Funding is intended to support a solar plus
energy storage system. During periods of grid outage, the solar plus energy storage system (with or
without emergency generator) will be used to provide a no-cost resiliency center for the surrounding
neighborhood. During grid operation, the solar and energy storage resources may be operated to
reduce the cost of electricity to the hosting site.

Resiliency Hub: Resiliency hubs are designed to provide emergency heating and cooling capability;
refrigeration of temperature sensitive medications and milk from nursing mothers; plug power for
charging of cell phone and computer batteries; as well as emergency lighting. Resiliency Hubs may
also be designated locations (by the city, county, or state) for the distribution of emergency services
during extended grid outages. Resiliency hubs are NOT replacements for emergency shelters as
they are not required to be designed to survive extreme weather. In addition, they are NOT required
to have food service capabilities, showers and locker rooms.

​Program Timeline
  • Notice of Grant Availability Posted – November 1, 2018
  • Grant Application Deadline – April 15, 2019 (first come, first served)​
  • Grant Agreement Execution Deadline – April 22, 2019
  • Construction and Commissioning Deadline – December 1, 2020
  • Final Inspection and Document Submission Deadline – January 31, 2021​

Program Documents 

Carefully review the following documents which contain important program details and eligibility requirements.

Additional Information from the Program Manager

The Program Manager has provided some additional information for consideration in this Open E-Mail Concerning Resiliency Hubs, PDF here: Resiliency Hubs Potential e-mail.pdfResiliency Hubs Potential e-mail.pdf

In addition, the following maps may be of value when considering the siting of resiliency hubs.  The term "Lifeboats Initiative" was an early working name for the Resiliency Hubs initiative.  The graphics were prepared by the Maryland Department of Planning.


Proposal Content 

Read the Notice of Grant Availability (NGA) as it provides the actual requirements for the program and the required proposal.  The list provided below is only a summary of the requirements.  Review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document BEFORE submitting a proposal.  The NGA and FAQ documents provide more information and requirements than are listed on this webpage.  Project developers (which may also include cities or counties developing resiliency hubs) should include the following information:

1.     Site justification:  Method used to identify the LMI population to be served (within walking distance). Identify or provide base documents used.  Describe the limits of the neighborhood expected to be served and an educated estimate of the LMI population to be served (moderate income, low income).  Use maps and tables as required.

2.     System Location:  Identify the building to be used as a resiliency hub.  Use a map as required.  Explain the rational for its selection.  Provide documentation that the building owner is interested in a solar plus storage system for daily use and is willing to open the building as a resiliency hub when the grid is down.  Documentation may be a contract, a letter of intent, a letter of interest, etc. 

3.     City/County Acceptance:  Provide documentation that the city/county (including their office of emergency planning) has been notified of the proposed location of the resiliency hub.  If the city/county has been involved in site selection, provide a brief paragraph to this effect.  If possible, provide documentation that the city/county is open to the concept of a resiliency hub, and that they do not reject the location out of hand.  (Final approval is not required at the point of submitting a proposal, but MEA will not approve projects rejected by the city/county.  

4.     System sizing information:  Provide a listing/table of the proposed loads to be provided during grid outage, to include kW and estimated kWh/day.  Describe the process used to size the solar system and the energy storage system.  Provide a listing/table of the loads and time of day for each of their use.  Provide the size of the solar system (kW) and the energy storage system (kW and kWh).  If a fossil fuel generator is included in the system design, provide its maximum power output, it’s fuel supply (including estimated time of operation available at various power levels), and proposed mode/strategy of operation.  Verify and document that sufficient roof/ground space is available for the solar system and energy storage system.  Indicate what modeling tool was used and provide key system printouts that show loads, system and storage sizing.  Tools such as SolarResilient[1], REopt or REopt Lite[2], and System Advisor Model (SAM)[3]  should be considered.  Other established modeling tools may also be used but must be specified.

5.     Grant Amount Requested:  Provide grant request amount as follows:  Multiply the solar system size by $1,300/kW.  In addition, up to $700/kW will be allowed to pay for: a critical loads panel and rewiring the critical load into the panel; the added cost of a grid-forming inverter over a grid-tied inverter, a battery charge controller and the additional disconnect switches required to island the system.  Unlike the $1,300/kW incentive, the additional costs must be proven, meaning that if it only takes an additional $100/kW for these features, that’s all that will be authorized.  Finally, if a city/county office of emergency management charges a fee in order to review the project (and integrate it into the city/county emergency response plan), up to $1,000 may be awarded to pay this fee.  (This additional $1,000 may NOT be used to pay zoning and permitting fees that are normal development costs.)  As such the Grant Amount Request should be listed as three numbers:  1) Solar + Energy Storage amount, 2) Additional equipment amount, and 3) County office of emergency management fee (if charged)

6.     System design:  Provide a one-line design of the system showing major equipment, panels, breakers, etc.  If a backup or emergency fossil fueled generator will be included, explain how it will be hooked into the system, to include a one-line diagram showing energy flow during generator operation. 

7.     Provide a statement that the applicant has reviewed the Notice of Grant Availability and agrees to follow its requirements. 

8.     Ongoing operation:  Provide a plan for the operation of the Resiliency Hub during an extended grid outage.  Address who will provide site manning and expected costs.  Provide a plan for the operations and maintenance of the system, including the name of the responsible party and the minimum schedule of inspection and preventive maintenance.

9.     Timeline:  Provide information showing estimated project start, completion, commissioning, Interconnection and Permission to Operate.

10.  Total Cost:  Provide estimated total project cost, as well as the cost for the minimum necessary equipment (solar modules, inverters, energy storage device, charge controller, system controller). 

At time of submittal, proposals must have completed steps 1 through 7.  Projects will be considered more favorably for each additional step completed however submittals for steps 8 through 10 may be listed as tentative if they have not been completed/finalized.  To be considered, a proposal must provide at least completed responses for steps 1 through 7, and at least tentative responses for steps 8 through 10

[3] https://sam.nrel.gov​

Program Overview Section

  • Non-governmental applicants selected for an award will be required to submit an IRS Form W-9 to MEA prior to entering into a Grant Agreement.
  • To receive grant funding for a project, the successful applicant must enter into a Grant Agreement with MEA by April 22, 2019, unless an extension is given in writing by MEA.
  •  PV systems that may receive benefit from MEA grant funding must be installed by an installation contractor who employs at least one North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Installation Certified person in the design and/or construction of the solar project. 
  •   Non-governmental project developers and owners must be in good standing in the State of Maryland. For a Good Standing Certificate, please see the website for the State Department of Assessment and Taxation[1] or the Comptroller of Maryland.[2] 
  • An authorized representative of the project development organization must sign the proposal and is responsible for submitting all program invoices and reporting.
  •  Only one MEA renewable energy grant may be awarded per project.  Developers may also submit for, and receive MEA energy efficiency grants (i.e. C&I grant) for use on the same building.  Developers may also use grants from different State or Federal agencies to partially fund this project.
  • The building owner and system owner will enter into an agreement with the City/County/MEA to maintain the building as a resiliency hub for at least 5 years.
  •  The grant is available, regardless of the ownership structure, provided the site owner, the building owner and the system owner all agree with the installation of the resiliency hub.  The grant applicant should include the real property owner AND the solar + energy storage system owner (if different than the real property owner).
  • Grants are paid after the solar plus energy storage system is placed in service (i.e. finishes all commissioning tests, has received its Permission to Operate from the local utility, and has passed all permitting inspections).  Systems must meet all zoning conditions imposed when zoning was approved by the City/County.
  • Energy at the resiliency hub shall be provided to the resiliency hub during grid outage without cost.
  •  ​Projects with solar arrays supplying power under a Community Solar Pilot Program must be individually coordinated with MEA who will consider the project as a whole. 
  • The project must not have an adverse effect as determined by the Maryland Historic Trust.
  • MEA renewable energy grant funding may NOT be used to support the installation of a fossil fueled generator (with the exception of installing a single breaker in the applicable switchboard). 
  •  Solar systems smaller than 10 kW will not be considered.
  • During normal electric grid operation, the solar plus storage system may be used to provide solar energy to the facility, as well as peak shaving to reduce demand charges.  Attempts to use the system for other purposes (such as frequency regulation) are not precluded by this grant if operating under an authorized utility tariff.  Regardless of the routine system use, the battery shall reach and maintain at least a 90% charge prior to any known storm or weather condition that might be expected to cause a power outage (hurricane, ice storm, derechos).  Normal operation may resume after the threat to the grid has passed.    
  • Although it is assumed that funding will be used to retrofit existing buildings, new building installation is also allowed. 
  •  As a minimum, City/County Emergency Planning Departments (or equivalent) will be notified of proposed resiliency hub locations.