Maryland Commercial Geothermal Grants
Increasing the amount of renewable energy is one of the State's key policy goals. The Maryland Energy Administration is tasked with achieving the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Currently, the RPS requires that 20% of energy sold in Maryland in 2022 come from qualified renewable energy resources.
Maryland has made significant strides toward its goals:
- Renewable Energy World magazine named Maryland to its list of Top 10 Solar Friendly States.
- Solar Renewable Energy Credits have provided a successful, market-based incentive to help drive the market to install an anticipated 40 MW of solar across the state by the end of CY 2011.
- MEA's Generating Clean Horizons program broke ground on Maryland's largest solar array at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg. The project will annually produce 22,000 MWh of electricity, enough to provide energy for an estimated 1,800 homes.
- MEA's Project Sunburst has contributed 9.2 MW of solar capacity by advancing the use of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to ensure long-term financial stability of larger PV projects on public buildings.
Program incentives are found in the following chart:
|Technology||Valid System Size||Grant Calculation||Maximum Award|
|Solar Photovoltaic||Less than 200 kW||$500 / kW||$50,000|
|Solar Water Heating||Any||15% of Total Cost||$1,000|
|Geothermal||Any||$500 / ton||$7,000|
|Wind||Any||Click to see details||$75,000|
Grants are allocated on a first come/first served basis across technologies. A business may receive awards that aggregate up to the maximum award per technology per fiscal year.
Home owners will need to decide if they or their installer will be the Primary Point of Contact (PPC) who will be responsible for ensuring grant documentation is submitted in a timely, accurate, and complete manner.
The following is a basic overview of the Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program process:
There are essentially two packages that the PPC must complete:
1. Grant Application Package. The application package documents are electronic, allowing certain data to be validated for form and content.
2. Grant Completion Package. After MEA sends the Grant Commitment Letter to the PPC upon project completion, the PPC will need to submit the Completion Package.
A few other important notes:
- Due to limited funds, applicants that increase system capacity are still eligible for the initial grant amount; however, applicants may not increase their grant amount. Applicants that would like to decrease system capacity must also reduce the amount of their grant. To do so, applicants can contact Cindy Szczesniak at email@example.com for the appropriate form. The capacity change form will need to be submitted and accepted two weeks prior to submitting the completion documents, which should also reflect the accepted capacity change.
- A relatively new trend is solar equipment leasing to reduce upfront costs to business owners. If you are a solar leasing company operating in Maryland, please contact Cindy Szczesniak at firstname.lastname@example.org for a grant lease application and completion certificate.
- MEA cannot offer grants to a property held in a trust.
- The property must be a primary residence to be eligible.
- MEA cannot offer grants to systems on federal property.
The Maryland Office of the Comptroller has determined that, based on IRS rules, a state grant is considered taxable income. Therefore, a Form 1099-G will be issued for grants received through the Clean Energy Grant Program. They should be reported as income on federal tax returns.
However, State grants for solar energy projects are not treated as taxable income by the State. The grant amount is subtracted from the federal adjusted gross income of a resident to determine Maryland adjusted gross income. This subtraction was created through legislation sponsored by Delegate Bartlett in the 2007 General Session. For more information on the State legislation, please read information from Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE).
To help Maryland home and business owners realize the benefits of solar energy, Maryland manages the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) program. Owners of solar photovoltaic systems can earn and sell SRECs (equivalent to 1 Megawatt hour) based on the amount of energy their solar system produces on the open market.
SB717 expanded the solar RPS to include solar water heating systems. All solar water heating systems 'commissioned on or after June 1, 2011' will produce SRECs.
- The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) offers a comprehensive list of Federal, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
- The U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division provides a wealth of resources about clean energy including Energy Savers: Your Workplace.
Visit the Better Business Bureau website to check out a contractor, find a BBB-accredited contractor, or file a complaint about your experience.