September 15, 2015

Report Shows Maryland’s Solar Power Capacity Grew 50 Percent Last Year

Montgomery County’s Solar Permits Tripled from FY14 to FY15

Montgomery County processed an estimated 545 solar permits in FY14, and in FY15 more than 1,582 permits were processed. This represents three times the number of solar permits issued from one year to the next.

A new report from Environment Maryland shows per capita solar power capacity grew 50 percent in Maryland last year. The report states that the growth brings Maryland to 12th in the nation for total solar power capacity per person. Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, who chairs the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, joined representatives of Environment Maryland at a news conference on September 3 to reveal the results of the study.

The report, Lighting the Way III: The Top States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2014, shows that while every state in the country gets enough sun to meet its energy needs many times over, the states that ranked the highest for solar per capita were those with policies that encourage increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”

“Public policy makes a huge difference in driving the solar revolution,” said Berliner, sponsor of dozens of environmental initiatives. “Our state has strong policies and our County has strong policies and those policies are paying big dividends."

“Montgomery County is committed to implementing sustainability practices in new and existing buildings,” said David Dise, director of Montgomery County’s Department of General Services, the County’s lead agency on its initiatives to green its operations. “Clean energy solutions such as solar help us achieve climate protection goals, lower the cost of energy and contribute to the creation of new jobs. This commitment to clean energy is clearly demonstrated by a current project to install photovoltaic systems generating at least six megawatts or enough electricity to power 550 homes. This project coincides with a recent White House initiative promoting the installation of solar energy.”