The City of Baltimore has agreed to buy a new solar power plant to be built by Constellation Solar, an Exelon subsidiary. Under its Maryland agreement, Exelson is developing 285 to 300 megawatts of new generation in Maryland, including 125 megawatts of wind and solar power. This is the first time an NFL team has served as the primary source of energy for the Baltimore Ravens, the NFL's second-largest sports team.
A solar system on 31 homes equals planting 63,000 trees and will save Baltimore homeowners millions in savings. Best of all, the average Baltimore solar plant would generate no emissions and no electricity costs for 15 years.
To meet the Clean Energy Jobs Act's goals, Maryland needs solar generating capacity of at least 1,000 megawatts (MW) to meet its goals. Prices for SREC in Maryland have risen, limiting the use of these projects on sensitive land and providing incentives for the use of projects at sites already developed. This will also lead to a significant increase in solar industry jobs in Baltimore and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
If you think of a solar project in Baltimore, Maryland, there are a number of tax credits that need to be considered. Maryland offers a tax credit of up to $5,000 per kilowatt hour (kW) for installing solar panels under 20 kW. Grants are available for solar panels on your own property in MD, and you can probably claim up to $1,500 per kW for a total of $2,400 per year.
Solar renewable energy credits can be obtained from Maryland homeowners for every megawatt-hour of electricity generated by the system, even when no electricity is used.
Maryland has great solar incentives, and the fact that Washington County is one of the sunniest counties in the country is a huge contributor to the success of solar energy in Baltimore. Combined with the sharply declining cost of solar power, Maryland's favorable tax credits for solar energy make buying a solar system a viable option for many Baltimore County homeowners. Looking at the cost-benefit analysis for solar power plants in Maryland and other states, it is clear that solar energy is a worthwhile investment.
Solar United Neighbors of Maryland, then known as MD SUN, is working closely with a larger group of community organizations and activists to persuade Maryland lawmakers to pass a solar bill.
The Baltimore Shining pilot project will be used to understand the barriers that prevent solar installations in low-income communities and to develop sustainable financing models to improve access to solar energy. The Solar Pilot Program provides a thorough look at barriers to access to solar energy and identifies ways to create a long-term, sustainably funded model that provides equitable access to Solar United Neighbors for all low-income residents.
Using geoanalysis, the report identifies optimal sun locations and answers key questions: Are there enough optimal locations to meet the needs of low-income residents and their communities? This is one of the tools Solar United Neighbors has developed to evaluate existing community solar projects. The EIA 860 is the foundation for the Baltimore Shining Solar Pilot Program and other Baltimore County projects.
Solar Sited Right examines the potential of solar energy in Maryland, as well as what works in other states. Bring Maryland Solar Power, the state's largest municipal solar pilot program, forward.
In 2015, the Community College of Baltimore County installed a 1,000-megawatt off-site solar system on three campuses that can meet 27% of the college's electricity needs. Half of that solar power will be allocated to Baltimore Gas, which supplies the region as the largest natural gas supplier to the city and the state of Maryland. The solar panels supply 31 households with sufficient energy to improve energy efficiency and services. Solar energy generated by part of a solar system outside the site is credited to the Maryland Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEP) and Maryland Power & Light (MPL).
Another factor driving solar growth in Maryland, which produces one of the highest rates of solar panels in the country and the second-highest rate of renewable energy, is the ability of large, capitalized companies to lease solar panels to homeowners and businesses, essentially to rent a roof and place solar energy above it. The average solar and photovoltaic project in Maryland pays for itself in less than two years, making it the most cost-effective solar system in America. Figures show the estimated payback and break-off time for solar projects in Baltimore County, which at just under $1,500 per kilowatt hour (kWh) is just over three years. The essence of a solar lease program is that the solar tenants install the panels on the roof at very low cost to the homeowner.
If you love the idea of a solar system on your property but don't quite have the financial means to pay for it, a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) may be the right choice for you. If you are interested in solar energy for your home or business, you can read our Consumer Affairs Solar Energy Guide about financing mechanisms, solar companies, and more. A good place to start is to get a free quote for solar energy from a trusted local installer in Baltimore.