More than 8,000-megawatt-hours are being added to the Maryland community solar energy portfolio. Solar energy developer Standard Solar is bringing a new 5.5-megawatt project to the state in a partnership with Earth and Air Technologies, Ogos Energy, and Neighborhood Sun.
Standard Solar, which specializes in financing and developing solar operations across the United States, provided the funding for the Maryland project. Upon completion of the installation, the energy company will also run the day-to-day operations. The program will consist of two Maryland community solar installations. The Flinstone Community Solar project, will be based out of Allegany County while the other, the Mill Community Solar project, will run out of Carroll County.
The Allegany County Board of Commissioners’ president, Jake Shade, exhibited excitement over the new project, calling it an innovating renewable energy project that will provide the county with long-term revenues for the foreseeable future.
When operational, the two Maryland community solar installations are expected to generate enough power to run 800 households. To participate in the projects, homeowners and businesses have to subscribe to the 5.5-megawatt projects. Standard Solar will also manage all subscriptions, which includes providing participants with the monthly credit toward their utility bill.
To help the projects come to fruition, Maryland Energy Administration’s FY20 Community Solar LMI PPA Incentive Grant Program provided Standard Solar with grant funding. The grant program was created to increase the reach of community solar to low- and moder-income households across Maryland. When subscribers register through the LMI program, they’ll receive a greater discount than standard subscribers, who will see a 10% decrease each year they are part of the program.
According to the director of business development at Standard Solar, John Finnerty, community solar farms are an efficient means of delivering clean, renewable energy to a greater number of homes. Unlike traditional solar, which requires buying privately-owned panels, community solar allows residents to bypass regulations, added costs, and maintenance.
Standard Solar currently has a portfolio of 150-megawatts of community solar projects spread across the United States.