Report: MMEAC Recommends Solar, Biomass, and Energy Efficiency Projects

According to a press release from Garrett County, the Mountain Maryland Energy Advisory Committee (MMEAC) has released its final report.

The Mountain Maryland Energy Advisory Committee (MMEAC) presented its final recommendations to the Garrett County Board of Commissioners. These recommendations focused on solar power, biomass energy, and home energy efficiency.

Created in November 2013, the MMEAC has advised the Garrett and Allegany County Commissioners on local and state policy, regulation, programs, and legislation. The Committee guided energy planning in an attempt to maximize positive effects and minimize potentially negative consequences of energy production. Representing a diversity of perspectives, the 12 committee members are private citizens, business owners, and leaders in economic development, health, education, and recreation.

“Working with the Committee has been both enlightening and inspiring,” said Cheryl DeBerry, Natural Resources Business Specialist for Garrett County Economic Development. “Committee members and members of the public have provided us with some great ideas that will help Garrett County government as well as local businesses and residents learn about energy conservation and efficiency as well as sustainable energy development.”

Since its inception, the MMEAC has explored a range of topics proposed by Committee members and the general public. Morgantown–‐based environmental consultants Downstream Strategies facilitated the process and completed a final report in July.

As a result of Committee discussions, Garrett County will be installing solar systems in collaboration with Solar City at three sites: Oakland Roads Garage, Grantsville Refuse & Recycling, and the Deep Creek Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant. Beitzel Corporation and Pillar Innovations are also collaborating with Solar City to install a solar system at the Northern Garrett Industrial Park. These systems will produce clean electricity at stable electricity prices for years into the future.

Also flowing from the MMEAC process is a proposal at Garrett College to install a new heating system that would burn local forest products. The new biomass boiler would replace the College’s current systems that burn oil and propane.

Public education regarding energy efficiency opportunities that can both save money and electricity were the third focus of the Committee.

The MMEAC provided the following recommendations:

  1. Implement the three projects that have already been started related to solar, biomass, and energy efficiency education.
  2. Initiate action on the ideas that the committee has proposed for future consideration. These projects focus on biogas, community renewable energy systems, and additional solar opportunities.
  3. Continue the process that was started by the MMEAC.
  4. Disseminate information to local residents.

The final MMEAC report can be downloaded from: www.garrettcounty.org/energy/mountain-maryland-energy-advisory-committee.

To explore all energy initiatives within Garrett County, visit: www.garrettcounty.org/energy/.

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