Community Solar is Now Permanent in Maryland!


75% of Americans DO NOT have access to Solar.

Today, only a small minority of American households and businesses have access to solar because they rent, live in multitenant buildings, have roofs that are unable to host a solar system, are shaded by trees, or experience some other mitigating factor.

Community solar provides homeowners, renters, and businesses equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy generation regardless of the physical attributes or ownership of their home or business.

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Why Community Solar?

Community solar can boost our economy—right now.

Community Solar is the way for all Marylanders to participate in energy, climate change, and job creation. Community solar expands access to solar for all, including in particular low-to-moderate income customers most impacted by a lack of access, all while building a stronger, distributed, and more resilient electric grid.

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Equal Access

Community solar works for anyone with an electric bill, including renters, residents in multi-unit buildings, municipalities, non-profits and businesses that don’t own their roofs. That means community solar can give ALL Americans equal access to solar for the first time.

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Utility Partnerships

The community solar model is based on a mutually beneficial relationship with utilities, allowing them to provide a product their customers want—locally-made clean energy.

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Economic Development

Sunshine is free, which means solar offers reliable energy at a predictable rate for decades. And because community solar projects are optimally sited, professionally maintained, and built at scale, consumers can save even more money.

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It's Easy

Customers can sign up to participate in a community solar project in a few minutes and begin receiving power production credits on their next utility bill. No contractor visits, permits, or maintenance means no hassle.

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2023 State legislation

We need MD to make the Community Solar program permanent: Support HB908/SB613

Maryland's Community Solar Pilot Program will sunset in 2024

The problem is that the pilot program in Maryland is just that, it’s a pilot. The pilot will sunset at the end of 2024 which means project development — which can take several years from the time of inception to the point at which a project is interconnected to the grid — will begin to cease without some indication of the program’s future.

If the sunset date is not lifted by the legislature in the 2023 session, the momentum for the program, and indeed the entire market, will be halted, preventing the state from being able to leverage billions in federal incentive dollars while leaving 95% Maryland’s investor-owned electricity customers without an option for offsite solar.

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This legislation would go beyond simply lifting the pilot status and capacity cap for the program

House Bill 908/Senate Bill 613 would make community solar a permanent customer option for Marylanders and allow it to play an increasing role in meeting the state’s ambitious solar energy targets. By removing the status as a “pilot” and lifting the arbitrary limits on capacity, this bill would give developers the confidence to leverage limited federal tax incentives and continue to pursue project opportunities in Maryland.

Most importantly, it will ensure community solar remains an option for customers seeking clean energy alternatives and a means to lower their electricity costs. Passage of this critical legislation will:

🌇 Put more solar on developed land
📉 Reduce costs for Marylanders 
👷 Create jobs

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It achieves a trifecta of policy goals for Maryland, including: Equity, Energy, and Economic Growth.

The bill requires every project to dedicate at least 40% of its capacity for subscriptions by low-to-moderate income customers, ensuring electricity cost savings reach those that need it most. This will be a marked improvement over the pilot program’s clunkier structure which splits capacity into several different buckets based on various policy objectives.

By making community solar a permanent option in Maryland’s clean energy tool chest, the state is better positioned to achieve its target of 14.5% solar energy by 2030. As it stands, the state is falling significantly short of its Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SRECs) requirements.

Community solar creates jobs, generates economic activity, increases local county revenues, and provides land and property owners with alternative revenue streams. Importantly, this bill will position Maryland to attract investors leveraging billions in federal tax incentives associated with the landmark Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022 that will be available in limited capacity allocations from 2023 – 2033.

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How do I participate in a community solar pilot project?

You may subscribe to a community solar project (or even more than one) that is located in the same service territory as your electric utility–whether you get your electricity from the utility or a retail supplier. See your utility’s website for details.

I am a renter – can I still take part in a community solar program?

Yes. Participating in the program does not require you to install solar panels on your residence. You can subscribe to get your energy from a community solar project in your utility’s service territory.

What is a subscriber organization?

A subscriber organization is a person or entity that owns or operates a community solar energy generating system; or the collective group of subscribers of a community solar energy generating system.

How do bill credits work for the community solar program?

A subscriber organization is a person or entity that owns or operates a community solar energy generating system; or the collective group of subscribers of a community solar energy generating system.

How can low or moderate income customers benefit from the community solar pilot program?

One category of the program is restricted for projects that must serve a significant percentage of low and moderate income customers. When you sign up for community solar, notify your subscriber organization that you are a low or moderate income customer and the subscriber organization will verify your eligibility.

What if already have rooftop solar – can I still participate?

Yes. You can apply to a subscriber organization as long as all of your subscriptions (community solar and rooftop) do not exceed 200% of your baseline annual energy usage. Subscribed energy in excess of annual use will be paid out to customers at a rate that may be less than the subscribed cost. Customers should choose subscription levels that correspond to annual use in order to avoid loss of subscription value.

What happens if I move?

You only need to live in the service territory served by a community solar project. If you move within that same territory you can transfer your subscription to your new residence. Subject to the terms and conditions of your contract, you may be able to transfer your subscription to another eligible customer.

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