MD’s Renewable Energy Task Force Interim Report Released
In an Executive Order last August, MD Governor Larry Hogan established a Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting. Their stated objective is to “encourage the responsible siting of clean and renewable energy projects in Maryland” making consensus-based recommendations with several explicit goals in mind, including acceleration of project siting in specified areas like brownfields, landfills and closed mines while avoiding siting on agricultural or ecologically sensitive areas. The group, comprising of 15 members from a spectrum of interested agencies & entities include representatives of MD Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Planning as well as MEA and the Farm Bureau, has one representative from the solar industry and one from the wind energy industry to help drive the conversations on project siting feasibility.
The interim report was submitted to the governor in early December, giving an early glimpse into what we can expect from its final version, and what the conversations have been to date. The report included numerous recommendations aimed to help in-state solar growth:
- Recognizing the need to desired vs. undesired solar siting locations
- Maximizing available rooftop and parking lot space for solar installations
- Recognizing the need to educate local governments
It also made some recommendations for further incentives like tax exemptions for the improvement portion of the PV systems, reclamation tax exemptions for renewable energy siting, and streamlining planning & zoning processes for renewable deployment.
The group will continue to meet until they submit their final report to the governor some time later this summer.