Advances Solar Energy Projects on State Properties, Establishes Task Force for Development and Siting
News Release, Office of Governor Larry Hogan
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Continuing his commitment to skilled environmental stewardship, Governor Larry Hogan today announced new initiatives to promote clean and renewable energy projects in Maryland.
Clean and Renewable Energy Initiatives.Governor Hogan signedExecutive Order 01.01.2019.09,establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting, which will work to develop consensus-based recommendations on the siting of new solar and wind energy projects in the state. To jumpstart that process, the governor announced new initiatives aimed at advancing solar energy deployment and development on state-managed and -owned properties:
- The Maryland Department of General Services, along with the Maryland Environmental Service, will conduct a first-of-its-kind assessment and inventory of state properties that could be utilized for solar energy.
- The state is pledging an additional $4 million in grants to aid large public institutions, including community colleges and universities, to deploy solar arrays on existing infrastructure—such as parking lots and rooftops—while encouraging state agencies to incorporate solar energy into any future construction.
“In my most recent State of the State address, I pledged my strong support for clean and renewable energy solutions that are affordable, reliable, and produce jobs right here in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “That is exactly what these announcements will help us to achieve. These innovative initiatives will provide millions of dollars in benefits to Marylanders and lower energy and maintenance costs, all while creating clean energy and green job opportunities.”
The Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting will include key stakeholders from state agencies along with representatives of Maryland’s agriculture community, local government, as well as the solar and wind energy sectors. The task force seeks to accelerate clean and renewable energy projects while minimizing and mitigating the impact on agriculturally or ecologically important, sensitive, and valuable areas. The task force will submit its initial findings in December 2019, with final recommendations due within a year.
The task force will be chaired by former Washington County Commissioners President Greg Snook, who currently serves on the boards of Hagerstown Community College, Meritus Medical Center, and Maryland State Roads Commission. Snook is the president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation.
Bold Energy Strategy.In May, Governor Hogan outlined a bold energy strategy to set Maryland on a path to 100% clean electricity by 2040. The governor plans to submit the Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) plan to the General Assembly on the first day of the 2020 legislative session.
Environmental Stewardship.Governor Hogan’s record of skilled environmental stewardship includes:
- Committing a historic $5 billion toward Chesapeake Bay initiatives, fully funding restoration efforts for four years in a row.
- Fully funding Program Open Space for the first time in more than a decade.
- Fully funding the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund for the first time in state history.
- Pushing for and enacting clean air standards that are stronger than 48 other states.
- Joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and serving as a leader in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.