Did you know that in Maryland the benefits of solar energy are about to become accessible to everyone, even if you rent or have a shady roof?
Thanks to statewide legislation championed by CCAN and our allies, Maryland is about to launch a cutting-edge “community solar” pilot program. The program will get started this fall, and the first projects could come on line as soon as winter.
Here are three things that you need to know about the program:
1) What is Community Solar? Community solar allows customers who rent, have shady roofs, or are otherwise unable to install solar at their residences or business to buy or “subscribe” to a portion of a shared solar system. Your share of the electricity generated by the project is credited to your electricity bill, just as if the solar system were located at your home or business.
2) How Does it Work? Under the new Maryland law, you can subscribe to a small share of a larger solar project located within your community. The energy produced by this solar site is delivered directly into the grid and the local utility redistributes this energy among its customers. Your household would then receive a credit on your monthly utility bill for the amount of electricity your share of the system produced.
3) Who Can Sign Up? Anyone!
If you are interested in participating in a community solar project in your neighborhood, sign up here and we’ll update you as the program develops.
Right now CCAN is helping to lay the groundwork by forging partnerships between communities and subscriber organizations across Maryland to get projects off the ground.
Importantly, Maryland’s program sets aside 30 percent of the total project cap for solar installations that serve low- and moderate-income households. This commitment to making solar universally accessible is critical — right now working families account for only a small fraction of all residential solar installations. This makes Maryland’s community solar program a major step towards a more equitable clean energy economy.
P.S. Our partners at Neighborhood Sun are hosting a webinar this Thursday to explain the community solar program in greater depth and answer your questions. Sign up for updates and we’ll send you the details.