Maryland continues to step up its support for microgrids, now accepting applications for $2.7 million in microgrid grant funding through its 2023 Resilient Maryland Program.
The announcement marks the latest in a series of moves since 2020 by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to support microgrids, most recently awarding nearly $1.2 million in two rounds of resilience funding for 2022.
The MEA cites multiple benefits microgrids can offer, including lowering the percentage of income that the economically disadvantaged spend on energy and providing resiliency hubs where people can access power, heat and cooling during disasters.
For 2023, the state is consolidating three of its resilience programs — feasibility and planning, microgrid capital, and resiliency hubs — into what it describes as a streamlined one-stop program platform. The change is designed to help applicants secure funds based on their project’s stage of progress.
Funds are available to help pay for feasibility analysis and development, system equipment and installation expenses, allotted as follows:
$400,000 — feasibility and planning.
$1.5 million — microgrid capital.
$800,000 — resiliency hubs, which are solar and storage that provide power to the nearby community.
The state hopes to fund community microgrids that can power key businesses and services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, general merchandise stores, hardware stores, gas stations and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The state also seeks projects that pursue creative solutions and innovations that create replicable and scalable distributed energy resource system models, according to a summary of the solicitation.
Winners of 2022 resiliency grants were Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Allegany College, AquaCon Maryland, Montgomery County, Capitol Technology University, Frederick County, City of Cumberland, Bowie State University and Groundswell. Civic Works and Hamilton Manor Apartments won resiliency hub funding.
Winners of resiliency grants in 2021 were City of Frostburg, Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, Little Chicks, Meritus Medical Center, Town of Poolesville, University of Maryland, Town of Williamsport and the Jefferson Ruritan Club. Winners of hub resiliency grants were City of Refuge, Empowerment Temple, Miracle City Church, Sun Light Old Line Solar II.
The MEA allotted resiliency grants in 2020 to ConAgra, Coronado DNB, District Farms, Frostburg State University, Groundswell, Housing Initiative Partnership, Howard County Government Campus, Maryland Port Administration, Montgomery County, PEPCO, PRI/19647 Fisher Avenue, Power52 and Smart Electric Power Alliance.
The 2023 grant applications are due by 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Jan. 26.
More information is available on the Resilient Maryland webpage or by contacting Resilient Maryland Program Managers Brandon Bowser, [email protected] (microgrids and RFPs) and David Comis, [email protected] (resiliency hubs).