Maryland: Despite Setbacks, Maryland Powers Through with Microgrids and Clean Energy Jobs

maryland renewable bill - montgomery microgridsLast week, the Maryland legislature passed the Clean Energy Jobs act, overriding a veto last year by Governor Larry Hogan. Also in 2016, the state’s Public Service Commission made news when it rejected utility microgrids. In positive microgrid news, last week’s jobs bill passage comes alongside the announcement of two advanced Maryland microgrids announced by the state’s Montgomery County.

The just-passed act increases the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 25% by 2020 — up from the previous target of 20%. Maryland’s legislators passed the bill, garnering enough votes to override the governor’s veto.

Two advanced microgrids coming to Maryland’s Montgomery County

Two advanced microgrids will soon serve the Montgomery County, Maryland, Public Safety Headquarters (PSHQ) and Correctional Facility. The county will build these microgrids, with the project including both power system upgrades and advanced controls. The microgrids will help ensure more reliable and efficient power and improve resiliency for Montgomery County following major storms and other natural disasters.

Improvements include infrastructure upgrades at the two facilities as well as clean on-site power generation through a hybrid solar/natural gas system that will protect uninterrupted public services during emergencies.  By funding and developing both microgrids through Schneider Electric’s Microgrid-as-a-Service (MaaS) business model, Montgomery County will complete construction without incurring any upfront costs. A special power purchase agreement (PPA) helps pay for the microgrids through low-cost, clean energy generation. Duke Energy Renewables serves as Schneider’s partner in this project.