Leggett Supports Expanded Access to Solar Energy

WASHINGTON D.C. – December 11, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett yesterday told state officials that low and moderate-income residents should have more access to solar power.

In comments filed by the County with the state Public Service Commission, the County said the state should include more people in a pilot program for community-based solar programs. Community solar installations are large clusters of solar panels that provide electricity for many people, as opposed to rooftop solar, which provides power for one house or building.

“Community solar is one of the fastest growing ways for people to take advantage of the benefits of solar-generated electricity,” Leggett said. “Our strong recommendation is that the state as many people as possible should have the opportunity to be a part of this clean revolution.”

Solar is already an important part of the County’s strategy for renewable energy. Montgomery County has adopted solar energy on government facilities, committed to over six megawatts across Montgomery County’s portfolio of buildings with additional capacity being installed by Montgomery County agencies. Collectively, state, federal and local policies have contributed to a three-fold increase in the number of construction permits for solar in Montgomery County between fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

In its filing with the PSC setting up new rules for community solar projects, Montgomery County said it “firmly supports community solar as an option for residents who may not have been able to participate in existing programs, in order that they may benefit from the financial and environmental benefits of solar.”

The County said changing the definition of “low income” residents who could qualify to participate in the program would also make the solar program consistent with other energy-related programs targeted to low and moderate income residents.

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