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Focus on: Maryland Farmers and Energy Saving Grants

Cow near solar panel array at Rock Hill Orchard in Montgomery County.

Maryland has more than 12,000 farms producing a variety of product from corn and grain to cattle and poultry over approximately 2 million acres. The Maryland Energy Administration’s Commercial, Industrial & Agricultural Grant Program (CI&A) supports the agriculture industry with grants to improve energy efficiency and reduce the energy costs. A total of $1.2 million dollars in funding is available in the Fiscal Year 20 (FY20) grant. The deadline for the second round of applications is February 3, 2020.

John Fendrick of Rock Hill Orchard stand in front of his solar array that helps his farm produce clean energy.

Rock Hill Orchard in Montgomery County utilized their energy grant to install a 136 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system split rooftop and ground array. Incorporating partial roof mount solar panels allowed Rock Hill to maintain valuable farming land while greening their electricity source. Read more about this “Cow to Cone” ice cream shop and dairy with robotic milker here.


Ariann Le is owner of Phat Chix  and Smile More poultry farms on the eastern shore.

Ariann Le is a poultry farmer on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. She balances raising her family while raising chickens. Ariann used her energy grant to install multiple energy efficiency measures that will help her stay competitive and save approximately $7,000 in estimated annual energy savings.

“As a female farmer this is a tremendous help for my poultry business. The support offered by the Maryland Energy Administration extended beyond just financial to all the other services offered through the program that helped me realize and benefit from these energy upgrades and savings. This grant has enabled me to meet my goals for the farm and the money saved will enable me to reinvest into other more efficient practices on my farm,” said Arianne Le.

Bart, Georg and Brad Hopkins at their Kennedyville farm.

Many farmers keep old and inefficient equipment around as long as it can be kept alive but this can lead to increased usage cost after too long in operation. The Hopkins family farm in Kennedyville, MD used their energy grant to offset the cost of replacing an old and inefficient grain dryer. The new dryer will cut the amount of energy needed by half. The new dryer will also helps offset the risk of having the dryer breakdown during harvest. According to George Hopkins, “This grant means the world to us because we wouldn’t have been able to upgrade our old dryer without it.”

Click here for instructions on how to apply to the CI&A grant today. Click here for the application. or additional information on the CI&A Program requirements, eligibility, evaluation criteria, and instructions on submitting a complete applications, please send an email to or call (410)-537-4074.