19 December 2008:

On the horizon, solar energy sees its day in the sun

But utilities, suppliers differ on renewable
Baltimore Business Journal – by Elizabeth Heubeck, Contributor

Recent state legislation requires solar energy to be a sliver of the renewable energy pie feeding Maryland’s electricity supply. But right now, not all utility companies and suppliers are biting.

Energy analysts’ dire warnings of a pending electricity shortfall – including the threat of rolling brownouts in the state as soon as 2011 – convinced Maryland legislators that solar energy needed to be part of the long-term solution. In response, the legislature last year revised Maryland’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS), mandating that a portion of electricity suppliers’ sales comes from solar. The incremental increase started with .005 percent this year, and by 2022 will reach 2 percent of the state’s electricity supplies – equivalent to approximately 1,500 megawatts. In addition, 18 percent of Maryland’s electricity supply will be fueled by other renewable sources.

Washington Gas Energy Services Inc. said Dec. 3 it will partner with two Maryland companies to build one of the state’s largest solar power systems to date. The 150-kilowatt system, which Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) will own, will consist of just under 9,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof of John E. Kelly & Sons Electrical Construction in Prince George’s County. Gaithersburg-based Standard Solar Inc. will design, construct, operate and maintain the system.

read the full article at http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/stories/2008/12/22/focus1.html.