“Solar nonsense” (The Sunday Capital, May 6) is a highly appropriate title for a letter to the editor that lacked a complete understanding of what the solar market means for Maryland and the energy savings that solar energy provides for Marylanders.
The need to develop “homegrown” energy that is clean and sustainable in Maryland is fundamentally critical to Maryland’s economic well-being. Ninety percent of Maryland’s power comes from coal and nuclear energy, creating a lack of energy supply diversity and aging power plants across our state. Furthermore, supply constraints increase energy prices and force Maryland to import 30 percent of our electricity, while exporting ratepayer dollars to other states.
Since 2010, 17 large-scale solar projects have been completed. These projects are now producing 8,800 kw clean renewable power for Maryland. On the residential side of installation, 2,800 projects have been completed since 2005, producing 15,400 kw of clean renewable power for Maryland while saving homeowners over $2.3 million per year. Over 2,000 jobs have been created with future projections predicting the creation of 10,000 jobs by 2020.
Gov. O’Malley has made Maryland a leader in solar energy production. Since 2007, the solar capacity added to Maryland’s grid has more than doubled each year and costs continue to decline. This summer, the state’s largest solar farm, as well as one of the largest on the East Coast, will start production. Maryland has also been named a top 10 state for solar.
Do we want to continue down this path of creating “dirty power” that lacks environmental and economic sustainability? We now have the opportunity to create clean energy in our state that provides jobs, industry growth and a better quality of life for all Marylanders. This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to pass up.
Maryland Energy Administration