EPA Intends to Make $62M Grant Award to Maryland

Maryland Solar for All Program (MSFAP) will enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from solar.

The Maryland Solar for All Program (MSFAP) is among a group of 60 applicants selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to receive funding under the $7 billion Solar for All grant competition for states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits.

“This funding award selection is tremendous for Maryland!” said Katherine Magruder, Executive Director for the Maryland Clean Energy Center. “The strategy of our statewide coalition focuses on outreach, workforce development, and technical assistance efforts, with significant funding for financing solar installation on single and multi-family residential properties, in addition to community solar generation and solar with storage projects. MCEC will continue working with state agencies, local government representatives, NGOs, and our partners at Montgomery County Green Bank and Climate Access Fund to achieve Solar for All grant deliverables over the next five years.”

Funding recipients will develop long-lasting programs that enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from distributed residential solar.

“We are moving in partnership to meet our climate goals and lift our communities,” said Gov. Moore. “Solar for All Grant Funding will make it possible for more Marylanders to access clean energy, reduce emissions, and prepare our workforce for the economy of the future. We don’t have to choose between a growing economy and a green economy – we can, and we will, choose both.” 

In Maryland, investments will focus on improving single and multi-family residential properties, as well as development of community solar and community serving solar installations, all intended to reduce the energy burden and provide ownership opportunities for over 10,000 qualified eligible households in the state.

“The Climate Access Fund is thrilled to be partnering with MCEC to deploy MSFAP funds for the benefit of historically disinvested communities across the state,” said Lynn Heller, CEO of the Climate Access Fund. “We look forward to continuing our work with communities and partners throughout Maryland to identify and finance community solar solutions in and for low-income and disadvantaged communities. These projects have the potential to provide thousands of Maryland families with discounted electricity, local jobs, connections to energy efficiency services, and a place to “plug in” during an emergency. We’re grateful to MCEC and all of its partners for making this historic opportunity possible for Maryland.”

EPA estimates overall impact of the investment by 60 Solar for All recipients will enable over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from distributed solar energy. This $7 billion investment will generate over $350 million in annual savings on electric bills for overburdened households. The program will reduce 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions cumulatively, from over four gigawatts of solar energy capacity unlocked for low-income communities over five years. Solar and distributed energy resources help improve electric grid reliability and climate resilience, which is especially important in disadvantaged communities that have long been underserved. 

The program will offer financial assistance in the form of Grants, Direct Lending, Credit Enhancements, Subordination Agreements and Equity Investments braided with State Tax Credits, rebates and Utility Incentives. $7 million of direct investment of state funds provided by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and MCEC is included in the MSFAP funding strategy. 

“Our collaboration with esteemed partners like MCEC exemplifies our commitment to fostering equitable access to clean energy and climate-resilient solutions for everyone,” said Stephen Morel, CEO of the Montgomery County Green Bank. “The Solar for All award is validation of the amazing work that we do and recognition of all the places we will go together. A huge congratulations and thanks to the EPA for helping us get there for Maryland.”  

An oversight committee will begin working on implementation of grant funded deliverables as soon as agreements are executed with the EPA. Solicitations will be announced to identify for profit contractors who may be engaged in MSFAP project delivery and installations. Program information and announcements will also be updated at www.mdcleanenergy.org/solar-for-all.  

The MSFAP application was a collaborative effort between a coalition of government, industry, utility, academic, and non-profit organizations aligned with intention to achieve the outcomes desired with the use of these federal funds. Coalition partners include: Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), Maryland Department of Labor (MD DOL), Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), IBEW Local 24/JATC, Carpenter’s Mid-Atlantic Training Center, Montgomery County Green Bank, Climate Access Fund, Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center (UM EFC), Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), Community Development Network of Maryland (CDNM), Baltimore City, Frederick County, Howard County, Prince George’s County, and Groundswell.  

The funding application was coordinated by the Maryland Clean Energy Center as the state green bank which offers a broad range of resources to facilitate access to capital through leveraged or direct investment and operates financing programs targeted to serve various consumer audiences and underserved communities. MCEC provides specialized procurement and technical support to facilitate and expedite project implementation.