Report: Offshore Wind Needs Domestic Supply Chain to Reach Goals

A report from The National Renewable Energy Laboratory along with other partners found that a domestic supply chain would make hitting the Biden administration’s 30-gigawatts-by-2030 target more likely. With two companies, Ørsted and US Wind, holding leases to erect and install offshore wind energy developments off the coast of Ocean City, company executives and state and local government officials anticipate Maryland becoming a regional hub for turbine construction and services. Maryland Matters has released coverage of an…

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Washington County Picks up the PACE for Commercial and Industrial Properties

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) ordinance to join the statewide C-PACE program -- making the County eligible to participate in the Maryland Commercial PACE (MDPACE) program, administered by the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC). The PACE program allows access to low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency improvements to commercial and industrial properties. “With the passage of C-PACE, Washington County hopes to use this economic…

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State Supreme Court Upholds State Preemption on Solar Siting
courtesy of Maryland Court of Appeals
State Supreme Court Upholds State Preemption on Solar Siting

Earlier this month the Supreme Court of Maryland upheld state preemption on solar siting over local zoning policy.  The Maryland Supreme Court announced the decision in Frederick County v. Maryland Public Service Commission that uphold's the state's ability to preempt local zoning decisions when it comes to solar siting. This case upheld the ruling from Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, Maryland v. Perennial Solar, LLC, which established that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC)…

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Court Challenge Rescinds Conowingo Dam Re-licensing – Back to Negotiations

A federal court decision, in a case brought by multiple environmentally-focused stakeholder groups, has invalidated the 50 year federal license extension granted to Constellation Energy to operate the Conowingo Dam. A major announcement last year on terms underpinning a generational extension of the federal operating license for Constellation's hydroelectric dam facility across the Susquehanna River (and feeding into the Chesapeake Bay as a centerpiece tributary) has come unraveled in federal court. Several environmental organizations sued…

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Montgomery Launches EV Purchasing Co-op Dealership Incentive Program

Montgomery County recently unveiled Maryland's first EV purchasing Co-op dealership incentive program.  The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be helping residents find discounts on electric vehicles (EVs) with the launch of its new “EV Purchasing Co-op Dealership Incentives” web page. The program is the first in Maryland where a local jurisdiction is partnering directly with local automobile dealerships to provide incentives and discounts for EV purchases. The program will amplify limited-time promotions and…

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Maryland Raises Over $1B for Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Maryland recently hit the $1 billion mark in funds raised to fight emissions.  Maryland has reached the billion-dollar mark in money raised through a regional program to cap and reduce fossil fuel energy use and the emissions that cause climate change. Those proceeds help speed the deployment of renewable energy technologies and consumer programs to improve energy efficiency. Maryland hit the billion-dollar milestone in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds in RGGI’s most recent auction…

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Maryland’s Blue Crabs May Power Sustainable Future

New research from the University of Maryland shows chemicals within Blue Crab shells may be an alternative to lithium. A new paper by the University of Maryland's Professor Liangbing Hu details the successful use of Blue Crab shells in batteries as an alternative to lithium. Specifically, chitin, a chemical that toughens exoskeletons in shellfish and insects, also has properties that promote superior recharging and better recyclability. According to Seafood Source, the seafood industries leading publication, “Vast…

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Apply Today for $84.5M in Federal School Infrastructure Grants

The federal government is now accepting applications for school infrastructure grants. The U.S. Department of Energy has opened applications for the nation’s highest-need districts to apply for $84.5 million in federal funding for school infrastructure improvements under two new programs established through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021. Of the $84.5 million: $80 million is for Renew America’s Schools grants to support rural or high-poverty schools with energy upgrades, such as new heating, ventilation and air…

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Montgomery Council Passes Landmark Decarbonization Bill

Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Maryland's first comprehensive building decarbonization legislation.  Earlier today, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 13-22, Buildings – Comprehensive Building Decarbonization, which will require the County Executive to issue all-electric building standards for new construction by Dec. 31, 2026. The legislation, introduced by Councilmember Hans Riemer and cosponsored by Councilmember Will Jawando, is the first of its kind in Maryland. “This legislation, combined with cleaning up the electricity…

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MD Climate Change 2022 Report: Mixed Bag for Counties

The Maryland Commission on Climate Change's 2022 Annual Report offers a mixed bag of incentive and preemption recommendations.  Late last week, the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (MCCC) released its 2022 Annual Report outlining a list of 34 state-level policy recommendations to mitigate the impacts and causes of climate change. The multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort has served as a forum for a variety of administrative, policy, and aspirational debates about the proper stewardship role for Maryland amidst…

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