Resiliency Hub Grant Program

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Update: Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order on March 12, 2020 mandating teleworking for non-essential state employees across all state agencies in response to COVID-19. With this in mind, the Maryland Energy Administration (​MEA) encourages that all correspondence and reporting regarding the Resiliency Hub Grant Program be submitted via email to David.Comis@Maryland.gov.

During this time, MEA Clean Energy Program Manager David Comis can most easily be reached via email at David.Comis@Maryland.gov or via phone at (443) 908-1743. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we appreciate your understanding. ​

 

FY21 Resiliency Hub Grant Program

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announces the opening of the FY21 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 (1) within high density, Low and Moderate Income (LMI) neighborhoods (AOI 1), and (2) in community/public buildings (AOI 2) 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; certain durable medical equipment, 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.

MEA also offers grants to help offset the costs associated with conducting detailed feasibility analyses and producing engineering data, plans, and designs of resiliency hubs and other distributed energy resource (DER) systems through its Resilient Maryland program. Overcoming this initial planning and design hurdle to produce the critical proof-of-concept to decision-makers and external capital providers is an essential part of the resiliency hub planning process, and often entails notable out-of-pocket cost to entities considering their implementation. MEA's Resilient Maryland funds can significantly reduce this expense.

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Program Timeline

 

 

  • Notice of Grant Availability Posted – October 2, 2020
  • Grant Application Deadline – Monday, March 1, 2021
  • Grant Agreement Execution Deadline – June 1, 2021
  • Construction and Commissioning Deadline – May 1, 2023
  • Final Inspection and Document Submission Deadline – June 1, 2023

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Program Documents

 

 

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

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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. Building Location: Identify the building to be used as a resiliency hub. Use a map as required. Explain the rationale 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 showing that the city/county where the system will be located (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 concept of a resiliency hub or the proposed location out of hand. (Final approval is not required at this time, however, note that MEA will not provide a grant to a project if the relevant county/city has determined the site to be unacceptable or has communicated that it will not approve a necessary permit or other local requirement.
  4. System sizing information: Provide a listing/table of the proposed loads and their time of day 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 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, REopt or REopt Lite, and System Advisor Model (SAM) should be considered. Other established modeling tools may also be used but must be specified. The system shall be sized to provide at least a 50% probability of lasting three (3) days.
  5. Grant Amount Requested: Multiply the solar system size by $3,000/kW. The maximum grant is capped at $500,000.
  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. Timeline: Provide information showing estimated project start, completion, commissioning, Interconnection and Permission to Operate.
  8. 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).
  9. Provide a statement that the applicant has reviewed the Notice of Grant Availability and agrees to follow its requirements.
  10. Ongoing operation: Provide a plan for the operation of the Resiliency Hub during an extended grid outage. Identify who (which organization) will be responsible for managing access to the resiliency hub during a grid outage, and what the expected costs will be. 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.

At time of submittal, proposals must have completed steps 1 through 9. Step 10 must be completed before submitting a completion report/final invoice. Proposals (electronic or paper) must arrive by the deadline. Proposals shall be sent by email to Solar.MEA@maryland.gov. If file sizes are too large, place a copy in the US mail to:

Resiliency Hub Program
C/O Maryland Energy Administration
1800 Washington Blvd, Suite 755
Baltimore, MD 21230

 

Program Overview Section

 

 

  • A W-9 of the party to receive the grant funding will be required with the submittal of each application.
  • To receive grant funding for a project, the successful applicant must enter into a Grant Agreement with MEA by April 15, 2021 for projects submitted for the January 15, 20201 deadline and June 1, 2021 for all other projects, unless an extension is given in writing by MEA.
  • At least one North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Installation Professional or PV Design Specialist must be employed and involved in the design and/or construction of the project.
  • Non-governmental project developers, site owners and system owners must be in good standing in the State of Maryland. A screenshot of the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation webpage showing that the project/company is in good standing is sufficient. Certificates of Good Standing are also acceptable from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation or the Comptroller of Maryland.
  • An authorized representative of the building owner and the project development organization must sign the cover letter (application).
  • Only one MEA renewable energy grant may be awarded per project. Each grantee may also submit for, and receive a Commercial and Industrial (C&I) grant or a Maryland Smart Energy Communities (MSEC) grant, but only to improve building energy efficiency. Developers may use multiple grants from different State or Federal agencies to fund this project.
  • The property owner of the building where the project will be located must agree 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).
  • Up to $10,000 may be invoiced after the completion of detailed design (if not already paid through a Resilient Maryland grant). Up to 55% of the total grant funding may be invoiced at the time of ordering all required solar and battery materials. Remaining funds may be invoiced 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.

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Other Programs of Interest

 

Contact

For more questions, additional information or assistance, please contact:

David Comis
Clean Energy Program Manager
David.Comis@Maryland.gov
(443) 908-1743