Following the lead of ten other states that have already adopted similar legislation, Maryland lawmakers this week passed two bills that aim to create community solar projects and increase access to clean energy in the state.
The bills, which still must be signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, would launch a three-year pilot project to allow the state to assess the benefits of community solar and establish best practices.
Though the sun falls everywhere, access to solar energy is not universal. According to non-profit group Vote Solar, more than 75 percent of US homes and businesses can’t install a solar system on their property, because their roof isn’t suitable or they rent their home or office, among other barriers.
Community solar allows multiple people to pool their resources and invest in or subscribe to a shared solar energy system.
“Community solar will enable all Marylanders to generate renewable solar energy,” Maryland Delegate Luke Clippinger, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and sponsor of one of the bills, says in an Earthjustice press release. “Solar is no longer a potential future prospect for energy generation here in Maryland, it is the here and now.”