Community Solar has made its way to Maryland! Sierra Club is excited to help support this innovative approach that saves people money while rapidly scaling up community solar projects across the state of Maryland.
What is Community Solar?
Community Solar is designed to make “signing up for solar” and taking a first step in getting Ready for 100 easier than ever! The Community Solar concept is community-owned and managed solar fields. Community members purchase shares or subscribe to purchase energy from local solar panel arrays which in turn provides public health, environmental, and financial benefits back to the community. The members of the community that have a share in that solar field will then get credit towards their energy bill because of their subscription or partial ownership.
How Does it Actually Work?
Marylanders have the choice to either buy solar power from a community solar farm through direct share ownership, or can sign up for a free cost-savings enrollment through a subscription model. The regulations for the three year community solar pilot program in Maryland went into effect on July 18th, 2016 and was extended in May of 2019. Sierra Club Maryland Chapter is proud to support this initiative! Maryland's Community Solar Pilot Project does the following:
- Incentivizes solar companies to provide service to low- and moderate-income customers.
- Allows renters to contract for solar energy.
- Includes significant consumer protections, including prohibition against unreasonable fees and clear contract disclosure requirements.
What are the benefits?
The goals that Maryland's Community Solar Pilot Program is setting out to accomplish will help guide Maryland away from fossil fuels as the main source of energy. By giving low to moderate income families and rural, suburban and urban communities the tools to shift their energy dependence while saving them money, it will make the #ReadyFor100 clean energy shift much more intuitive, cost efficient, and feasible. In the coming months our state will see a continuous change in energy usage. The big energy providers will be able to shift their energy usage towards solar power with the acquisition of energy from community solar fields.
In short, it means clean, renewable energy is now accessible to just about anyone. The benefits associated with community solar are cleaner air and water, higher land values, lower cost electricity, and a more environmentally sustainable, biodiverse Maryland outdoors for all of us to S.H.A.R.E.
Solar Helps Advance Resident Equality = SHARE!
Community Solar in the News