The Coalition for Community Solar Access honors individuals, organizations for dedication to advancing Maryland’s Community Solar Program
Annapolis, MD (October 3, 2023) — The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is marking a year of significant growth and momentum for community solar by recognizing Maryland advocates for their work over the last year to advance the state’s community solar program.
CCSA is awarding Delegate Luke Clippinger (2x winner), Delegate Brian Crosby, State Senator Benjamin Brooks, State Senator Brian J. Feldman, Political Director for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters Kristen Harbeson, and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Dr. Al Bartlett among its 2023 Community Solar Champions.
The Maryland winners are among 22 Community Solar Champions nationwide, including state legislators, environmental and sustainability advocates, labor leaders, advocates for disadvantaged communities, and farmers and agricultural groups.
“From pioneers to a now-permanent program, we’re fortunate to have such strong legislative and advocacy partners in Maryland. Without them, Maryland’s renewable energy landscape would be far less diverse,” said CCSA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Charlie Coggeshall. “These Community Solar Champions’ efforts have an even greater impact as federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act’s Solar for All program begin accepting state applications.”
HB 908, now signed into law, eliminates the previous pilot program’s arbitrary cap on community solar in Maryland (580 megawatts) and allows it to be a permanent distributed generation option for consumers, alongside net metering. It also moves the market away from limits associated with the types of projects that can be developed and instead incentivizes the development of projects on a greater variety of sites, inclusive of commercial rooftops, industrial, and brownfield sites, as well as using agrivoltaics on farmland. Underlying all these projects is a new requirement to have at least 40% of capacity dedicated to benefiting low-to-moderate income customers. This will ensure that historically disadvantaged Marylanders have equitable access to utility bill savings at a time when inflated energy prices are driving up household energy costs.
Through community solar, customers can enjoy equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar generation by subscribing to small local solar arrays. They then receive a credit on their utility bill for their share of the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their own roof.
An estimated two-thirds of American households do not have access to solar power because they either rent, live in a multi-tenant building or have roofs unable to host a solar system.
There are currently 18 states plus the District of Columbia with policies in place that permit third-party, competitive community solar with multiple states advancing legislation to enable new programs.
About the Coalition for Community Solar Access
The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is a national trade association representing over 120 community solar developers, businesses, and nonprofits. Together, we are building the electric grid of the future where every customer has the freedom to support the generation of clean, local solar energy to power their lives. Through legislative and regulatory advocacy, and the support of a diverse coalition — including advocates for competition, clean energy, ratepayers, landowners, farmers, and environmental justice — we enable policies that unlock the potential of distributed energy resources, starting with community solar. For more information, visit https://www.communitysolaraccess.org and follow the group on Twitter (X), LinkedIn, and YouTube.