The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has developed the FY18 Community Solar LMI PPA Incentive Grant Program (LMI-PPA Program) to help extend the benefits of community solar projects to members of the Low and Moderate Income (LMI) community. The program seeks to achieve this by incentivizing community solar subscriber organizations to include terms and conditions in their Subscription Agreements, which maximize cost savings and minimize the contract period for LMI subscribers.
This program is only open to subscriber organizations that have been assigned LMI Capacity under the Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program, or those projects in the “Other” category subscribing at least 51% of their energy to LMI subscribers. The incentives are designed for a 20-year lifetime so Subscriber Organizations must pass down grant conditions to new owners in any subsequentsale/change of control of the project.
The Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program commenced in April 2017. Community solar is a form ofvirtual net energy metering where the consumer gets energy credit on a local bill for energy producedoff-site (but within the same electric utility service area). The Maryland Public Service Commission hasauthorized certain subscriber organizations to participate in the pilot program. This programs allowsMaryland residents and businesses to purchase subscriptions for energy from community solar arrays,gaining the same economic advantages as having solar modules directly on their roofs.There are two issues addressed in this grant program: (1) provide the LMI Community with significant energy savings; (2) allow for shorter contract periods to address needs of LMI community.
Accordingly, the LMI-PPA Program will provide grants to subscriber organizations that can address thesetwo issues facing the LMI Community. Applicants for the grant should be providing contract periodsshorter than 20 years to members of the LMI Community. A subscriber organization seeking a grantneed not sign every LMI subscriber to a shorter contract, but it should be an option available to eachLMI subscriber. MEA incentives partially recompense the Subscriber Organization for added costsincurred by providing Subscriber Agreement time and savings characteristics needed by the LMIcommunity.
In order to qualify for consideration under FY18 Community Solar LMI PPA Grant Program, subscriberorganizations applicants must meet the following requirements:
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