Maryland Sets Record For Increasing Solar Capacity

A June 27, 2015, Capital Gazette article reported that Maryland has set a record by increasing its new solar capacity by 174 percent in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to the first quarter in 2014.  The record is based on the findings of a solar marketing report from the Solar Energy Industries Association.  From the article:

This [record capacity] pushes the state closer to its goal of having 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2022, including 2 percent from solar.

Thirteen percent of Maryland energy production is expected to come from renewable sources by 2015, with new installations going up each year, said Marta Tomic, the Maryland Energy Administration’s Solar & Geothermal Clean Energy Program manager.

“That comes from about 13,000 installed systems in the state,” Tomic said. “The real benefit to folks is having a system that will pay back in under 10 years and generate clean energy.”

In 2006, Maryland was producing less than 0.1 of a megawatt of solar energy. As of this month, the state’s capacity had reached 273 megawatts. That’s enough to power about 30,000 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The article also discussed the increasing adoption of solar by both homeowners and businesses and the need to update the state’s electrical grid to more efficiently handle alternative energy sources like solar.