Maryland ranked number nine in the nation in terms of total installed capacity in 2012. We broke into the Top Ten, even though we are a small state. The previous year (2011) Maryland was 12th. In
2012, we more than doubled our installs from 2011 and put in 80 megawatts (MW) of capacity, passing up New Mexico, Pennsylvania and even Texas! Hard to believe.
And for distributed non-residential [commercial, but not utility scale], Marylandís own Mount St. Maryís University in Emmitsburg constructed a 16 MW installation, the second largest array in the nation, after Appleís North Carolina facility. The Mount St. Mary’s electricity is sold to the Maryland Department of General Services and the University of Maryland system.
Utility scale installations are much bigger than the commercial ones. The largest utility-scale installation was in Yuma, Arizon, 289 MW. Wow! Although that is impressive, I prefer somewhat smaller distributed arrays, so that you donít have to cover a corn field, or forest, with solar panels. Instead, keep them on the roof, or install PV as a shade canopy over the parking lot, somewhere where nature is already disturbed. Whatís driving all this solar? Federal loans, grants, renewable portfolio standards, lower costs and solar leases, such as those offered by many of our advertisers, now accounting for about 80% of all new systems. Go Solar!Originally published, 2013 Maryland Solar Tour guide by Charlie Garlow