Maryland’s growth in Q1 was powered by both new residential and commercial solar installations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On pace for its best year ever, Maryland had a record-breaking 174 percent increase in new solar capacity in the first quarter of this year compared to the same time period a year ago, according to the recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report compiled by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Maryland's growth in Q1 was powered by both new residential and commercial solar installations. Once again, residential led the way with 14.6 MW of newly-installed solar capacity, followed closely by commercial at 12.5 MW, bringing the state's total to 242 MW - enough to power 27,000 homes.
"At the rate its going, Maryland will more than double its amount of new solar capacity this year compared to 2014," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. "Maryland is now on pace to install 140 MW of new solar capacity this year alone. That's a huge jump - nearly 14 times more than was installed in Maryland in 2010. Clearly, smart public policies like the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Net Energy Metering (NEM) are providing a tremendous boost to the state's economy, creating thousands of new jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars a year in economic activity."
The report went on to point out that $77 million was invested in Maryland in the first quarter of this year in new solar installations - and nearly $300 million since the beginning of 2014.
"Because of the strong demand for solar energy, thousands of new, good-paying jobs have been added in Maryland, benefitting the state's economy and environment," Resch said. "To put Maryland's remarkable progress in some context, the 242 MW of solar installed in the state today is half as much as the entire country had in 2004. While homeowners are ‘going solar' in increasingly large numbers, what's also encouraging is the way many large retailers, including Staples, Walmart, General Motors, Verizon and IKEA, are all embracing solar in a big way in communities all across Maryland."
Today, there are 174 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Maryland, employing more than 3,000 people, representing manufacturers, contractors, project developers, distributors and installers. What's more, from an environmental perspective, solar installations in Maryland are helping to offset more than 217,000 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of removing 46,000 cars off the state's roads and highways, or not consuming 24 million gallons of gasoline.
"By any measurement," Resch added, "solar is paying big dividends for Maryland - and the best is yet to come."