Maryland's Public Service Commission recently approved its final regulations for establishing a three-year pilot community solar program, which is expected to be published shortly and become final in mid-July.
By allowing more residents, especially low and moderate income residents, as well as those without ownership of their roofs or who live in multi-unit buildings, to participate in the solar energy revolution, Maryland’s community solar program could enable a more inclusive renewable energy ecosystem in the state. Part of the new community solar regulations speak directly to that inclusiveness, with about 30% (60 MW) of the state’s community solar cap (200 MW) being set aside for low to moderate income residents.
In addition to increasing access to solar for the lower income demographic, Maryland’s new community solar program will also encourage the development of shared solar projects on brownfields, parking lots, and industrial areas, which could help communities to reap value from sites that have historically been taken out of circulation, so to speak, by either environmental damage or because their existing uses aren’t well suited to the development of conventional solar projects.
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