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The Latest (updated 11/28/2016)
UPDATE: SMECO and Choptank have jointly filed for a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review some aspects of how the pilot regulations are written. This process is likely to take many month to resolve and the program is anticipated to start as planned in the meantime. With the help of Earthjustice, MD SUN and several other organizations have filed a motion to dismiss. On November 15th FERC denied SMECO and Choptank’s petition.
On June 14, the Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted favorable rules, including full retail credit for community solar energy on a subscriber’s electricity bill with no subscription fees. This means if you subscribe to community solar (when projects become available), you’ll earn the same value on your bill that you’d receive if the solar were on your roof. The estimated size of the community solar pilot is approximately 218 megawatts distributed across Maryland’s various utility service territories (Pepco, BGE, Potomac Edison, and others).
The adopted regulations were published in the Maryland Register on Friday, April 29 for a required public notice and comment period of 30 days. Minor regulation edits were published on Friday, July 8 and became final on July 18. Utilities have 45 days after to file the associated tariffs and compliance plans for their service territories. BGE, PHI (Pepco & Delmarva), and Potomac Edison have filed their tariffs. The PSC will review submitted tariffs during an upcoming administrative hearing, likely on December 14th, 2016. If tariffs are approved at that time the program would be open shortly thereafter for solar developers and other organizations planning projects to apply to participate in the pilot.
NOTE: All official comments filed by various parties appear in the official administrative docket.
In 2016, installing a solar system on your roof will no longer be the only way to “go solar” in Maryland. Right now you may be part of the majority that can’t install solar on your own roof because your rooftop faces the wrong way or has too much shade, you’re renting, you live in a condo and share the roof, you don’t like the way solar panels look on your roof or you can’t afford it. Thanks to new legislation passed in May of 2015, you don’t need to install panels on your own roof. That’s because community solar allows you to receive the benefits of solar with a remotely located community solar array. — Learn more about community solar
- SEIA/CCSA Residential Guide for Community Solar
- SEIA Guide to Land Leases for Solar
- NYSERDA Landowner Considerations for Solar Land Leases
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