The Maryland Community
Solar Pilot Program commenced in April 2017. We offer programs for both
Commercial Community Solar and for Residential Community Solar where the subscription uses an ownership model. Under an ownership model, the subscriber
purchases the rights to the energy, for a given proportion of the array, over
the lifetime of the project. This
subscription right may be resold by the subscriber. The energy produced by the array is credited
to the subscriber without any additional per kWh charge (although there may be
annual Operations and Maintenance charges).
The Maryland Commercial Community Solar program allows Maryland businesses to
purchase subscriptions for energy from community solar arrays, gaining the same
economic advantages as having solar modules directly on the roofs of their
businesses. 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 that wish to
purchase (own) the energy benefits of the array. Subscriptions must be to
a community solar array within the subscriber’s electric utility service
area. A grant will not exceed 100% of the smaller of the business’s
annual energy use or 250kW. This grant program may not be used for
subscriptions to arrays under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Read
below for more information.
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 residences. 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. Low to moderate (LMI) residents who subscribe to a
community solar array under an ownership model are incentivized at a higher
rate than other subscribers. Subscriptions must be to a community
solar array within the subscriber’s electric utility service area. A
grant will not exceed 100% of the resident’s annual energy use (with maximum subscription
size of 20 kW). This grant program may not be used for subscriptions to
arrays under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Read below for more information.
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.
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.
 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).
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:
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/
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 C1and 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. (TheSubscriber Organization must have a Community Solar Pilot Program subscription organization number from the Maryland Public Service Commission). The applicant then includes his/her socialsecurity 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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