Join Montgomery for a ‘Digital Solar Happy Hour’

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a "Digital Solar Happy Hour" in an effort to inform residents and small business owners about solar energy and electric vehicle charging options. DEP is partnering with Solar United Neighbors and local breweries to host this event from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. The Digital Solar Happy Hour is one of the free DEP information sessions to educate community members about solar…

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Frosh Asks FERC to Halt Fossil Fuel Project Approval During Pandemic

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is leading a coalition in calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to postpone approvals of fossil-fuel infrastructure.  Frosh and Attorneys General from nine states and Washington D.C. have written to FERC requesting that they cease approving new and pending natural gas pipelines and fossil-fuel infrastructure projects until the COVID-19 crisis subsides. In the coalition letter the group asserts that the crisis has presented the public with challenges to…

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Governor Vetoes Kirwan, Tax, Fiscal Bills in Silent Session Cap-off

On the final day allotted for his decision regarding legislation passed by the General Assembly during its abbreviated session, Governor Hogan vetoed 37 bills, including the high profile Kirwan Blueprint school funding legislation, and others with fiscal effects. Governor Hogan, through statements and in the absence of any traditional "bill signing ceremony," revealed his decisions regarding legislation passed during the recent legislative session, itself abbreviated by coronavirus worries. The bottom line - 37 vetoed bills,…

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Chicago to Require EV Charge Capability for New Buildings

Certain new buildings in Chicago will now have to be electric vehicle (EV) charge ready. Chicago has passed an ordinance that requires all new construction with 30 or more parking spaces or 5 or more units to have 20 percent of their parking spaces EV charge ready. According to a press release from the City, by 2040, 55% of new car sales will be EV. Retrofitting parking areas with EV charging infrastructure is significantly more…

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Public Service Commission Joins Lawsuit Over Federal Energy Order

New Jersey and Maryland energy regulators are suing their federal counterpart over a recent decision to uphold a controversial order they issued in December 2019 that could have broad impacts on the future of clean energy in the region. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has joined the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) in a lawsuit challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commisison's (FERC) divisive minimum offer price rule (MOPR) change issued in a…

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Board of Public Works Approves Water Quality Infrastructure Funding

The Board of Public Works has approved funding for several water infrastructure upgrades across nine jurisdictions. During its video conference meeting yesterday the Board of Public Works approved several funding allocations from state sources such as the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund, the Mining Remediation Program, the Energy Water Infrastructure Program and the Bay Restoration Fund. The approvals total over $70 million dollars and will go to projects such as upgrades to wastewater treatment…

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FERC Denies Request to Reconsider Controversial Order

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has denied requests to reconsider its December order that many believe to be a huge blow to the future of clean energy in the region. In December of last year the Commission ordered PJM Interconnection to begin using the minimum offer price rule (MOPR) for its capacity market. This requires that energy sources that receive state subsidies be offered at a higher price in the market. The policy primarily…

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EPA Finalizes Rollback to Mercury Emissions Rule

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized regulatory rollbacks to power plant mercury emissions rules. While the standards stay in place, the highly controversial rule changes are likely to have sincere impacts and result in legal challenges. The change nullifies the required finding that policies are "appropriate and necessary." The rule change alters the way costs and benefits are calculated when reviewing hazardous air pollutant abatement policies. If calculations of public health benefits from…

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Hogan Calls on Congress to Provide $500 Billion to Stabilize State Budgets

Governor Larry Hogan and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York today issued a bipartisan call for an additional $500 billion in federal aid for U.S. states and territories to address budgetary shortfalls resulting from the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis. Governor Hogan is the chairman of the National Governor's Association (NGA), Governor Cuomo is the vice-chair. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Comptroller Peter Franchot on Friday revealed that Maryland’s general operating revenues are projected…

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Still Time to Apply for MEA’s Resilient Maryland Microgrid Grants

The Maryland Energy Administration recently announced the Resilient Maryland Pilot incentive program (“Resilient Maryland”). The program hopes to drive growth in the adaption of microgrid technology by providing grants to local governments and organizations. The deadline for applications is May 1. Microgrids provide a variety of benefits to communities. They help ensure local and affordable energy solutions for consumers through reduced transmission length, providing efficiency in energy production and consumption. Additionally, microgrids interface well with…

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