Community solar opens the benefits of solar to anyone who receives an electric bill, including lower-income residents, businesses, municipalities, schools and non-profits. In addition, its cost competitiveness and ability to expand into new markets is driving investments in Maryland communities at a time when they are greatly needed.
Community solar is distinctive for its simplicity and flexibility – it allows utility customers who are unable to access the benefits of onsite solar otherwise the option to purchase renewable energy from a local community solar project.
Standard Solar, Inc., a leading solar energy company specializing in the development, funding and operations of solar electric systems nationwide, is bringing more than 8,000,000 kWh of annual energy supply to Maryland community solar subscribers, in partnership with Ogos Energy LLC, Earth and Air Technologies and Neighborhood Sun.
“Community solar is an effective way to provide large numbers of subscribers access to the benefits of clean energy,” said John Finnerty, Director of Business Development, Standard Solar. “Community solar projects engage a community, starting with ratepayers interested in savings and clean energy, a land owner to provide or host the site, a servicing utility to approve the grid interconnection, efficient state regulators providing consumer protections and grants and a team of solar project engineers and system operators.
Standard Solar financed and will own and operate the community solar farms. The Flintstone Community Solar project, located in Allegany County Maryland, and the Shepherd’s Mill Community Solar project in Carroll County Maryland are both under construction and are actively being subscribed.
The two projects, a combined 5.5 megawatts (MW), are expected to provide savings and clean power to approximately 800 Maryland households as subscribers. These projects in Maryland – and more in the state that are currently approved for design and in-construction – join Standard Solar’s 150+ MW of community solar projects funded and operating with partners around the United States.
The projects received grant funding from the Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) FY20 Community Solar LMI PPA Incentive Grant Program (LMI-PPA Program) designed to help extend the benefits of community solar projects to members of the Low and Moderate Income (LMI) community. LMI subscribers are guaranteed additional discounts on the community solar portion of their electric bill. All other residential customers are guaranteed to save 10% annually by switching to community solar power.
“Collectively, the community wins and ratepayers save. We’re particularly excited to own and operate these projects in our home state of Maryland where we’ve funded more than 35 MW of clean energy in the state,” Finnerty says.
— Solar Builder magazine