New Energy Pilot Offers Boost to Manufacturers
by Brandon Bowser, Energy Program Manager
Energy is critical to manufacturers. Access to reliable, affordable electricity and thermal energy drives their operations every day, and without it, Maryland’s manufacturing workforce would be unable to contribute to the growing global economy. The energy landscape of the United States is changing rapidly and Maryland is no exception. Utilities, generators, and customers are making energy management decisions and prioritizing investment that will improve not only the integrity of our grid, but also our behind-the-meter equipment so that we minimize and eliminate energy disruptions and protect our productivity and livelihood.
Manufacturing is a critical component of our State’s economy. Maintaining while simultaneously growing the presence of manufacturing and commercial business in Maryland is a shared goal between RMI and the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). MEA’s vision is to “promote affordable, reliable and cleaner energy that benefits all Marylanders.” “All Marylanders” includes Maryland’s manufacturers and businesses, and that is why RMI and MEA are both proud to announce the launch of a new MEA grant program — Resilient Maryland.
In effort to expedite Maryland’s clean energy future and improve resiliency, MEA launched the new Resilient Maryland pilot program at the end of February 2020. This pilot combines clean energy technology such as combined heat and power (CHP), energy storage, solar and similar technologies to enable Maryland’s essential businesses, services, and organizations to resist power disruptions and outages.
Resilient Maryland encourages clean energy technologies such as microgrids, advanced combined heat and power, resilient facility power systems and resiliency hubs. Manufacturers can benefit from these technologies through their ability to provide cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable long-term energy solutions. Their implementation also allows for facilities to take more direct control over their energy needs, contributing to the organization goals such as carbon reduction and sustainability initiatives, and reducing disruptive interruptions in production and costly downtime from lapses in utility power. Any organization seeking affordable and clean energy that is highly reliable and resilient can benefit from this pilot program.
Recipients of Resilient Maryland grants can use the funds to help offset the cost of gauging the feasibility of distributed energy resource systems, such as solar PV arrays, battery storage, advanced CHP systems, and energy infrastructure improvements, as well as help pay for the engineering, planning, and design.
Applications are due by May 1, 2020. Click here to visit the MEA Resilient Maryland webpage for information on eligibility and how to apply. For applicants who cannot apply for the pilot, MEA anticipates offering the program in the next program year. Additional questions can be directed to Brandon Bowser, Resilient Maryland Program Manager, at RMP.MEA@Maryland.gov.