Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has signed Executive Order 01.01.2019.09, which establishes the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting. The order aims to develop consensus-based recommendations on the siting of new wind and solar power projects in the state.
“In my most recent State of the State address, I pledged my strong support for clean and renewable energy solutions that are affordable, reliable, and produce jobs right here in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “That is exactly what these announcements will help us to achieve.”
To jumpstart that process, the governor announced new initiatives aimed at advancing solar energy deployment and development on state managed and owned properties. This includes a first-of-its-kind assessment and inventory of state properties that could be used for solar energy and $4 million in additional grants to aid large public institutions to deploy solar arrays on existing infrastructure.
“These innovative initiatives will provide millions of dollars in benefits to Marylanders and lower energy and maintenance costs, all while creating clean energy and green jobs opportunities,” he added.
The Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting will include key stakeholders from state agencies along with representatives of Maryland’s agriculture community, local government, as well as the solar and wind energy sectors.
The task force seeks to accelerate clean and renewable energy projects while minimizing and mitigating the impact on agriculturally or ecologically important, sensitive, and valuable areas. The task force will submit its initial findings in December 2019, with final recommendations due within a year.
The task force will be chaired by former Washington County Commissioners President Greg Snook, who currently serves on the boards of Hagerstown Community College, Meritus Medical Center, and Maryland State Roads Commission. Snook is the president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation.