Maryland Energy Administration Announces $1.4 Million in Awards for Innovative and Novel Efforts Under the OPEN Energy Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jahmai Sharp-Moore | 443-694-3651
Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is proud to announce that four awardees have been selected for its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) OPEN Energy Program. The four awards total $1.4 million in funding to help advance the State’s energy goals in innovative ways. MEA launched the OPEN Energy Program to provide an opportunity to receive and award proposals for energy projects and initiatives outside of the agency’s suite of established technology and sector specific energy programs. OPEN allows MEA to advance the state’s energy policy goals and objectives by providing grants for these efforts.
“Collectively these awards provide a variety of benefits that can aid us in accelerating clean and reliable energy in Maryland”, said Dr. Mary Beth Tung, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “Through this program package and our partnerships, we are working to foster energy cost reductions in our communities, add additional benefits to our energy workforce, and stimulate the potential for new cleantech industries and while strengthening Maryland’s position as a clean energy leader. OPEN received overwhelming support with 14 applications from Maryland businesses, non-profits, and government entities. The 14 applications collectively requested a total of more than $3.5 million in grant funds. The submissions were evaluated based on the reasonableness of the proposals, alignment with the criteria published in the Funding Opportunity Announcement and overall technical potential.”
The four awardees selected are highlighted below, and a full list with detailed information is available here.
Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation – Allegany County:
Evergreen Heritage Center (EHC) is a 131-acre historic Appalachian farm that has been hosting award-winning education and training programs since 2008, serving 10,000 students and visitors annually. In 2022 to 23, the EHC plans to expand its use of green energy solutions across its campus to provide real world examples of alternative energy technology applied in rural settings. Five innovative, replicable projects have been designed to support the EHC Foundation’s goals of financial sustainability, resilience, STEM education/training, and inclusive rural economic development. The EHC will provide a demonstration of renewable energy applications including a farm-wide aggregate net metering system capable of islanding during power outages, novel uses of solar such as pond aeration and charging of mobile electronics, a microhydro demonstrator system.
Maryland Environmental Service:
Maryland Environmental Service (MES) assists with the preservation, improvement, and management of the quality of air, land, water, and natural resources, and promotes the health and welfare of the citizens of the State. The proposed project led by MES, in partnership with Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties, supports the demonstration and use of a Stirling engine to generate electricity from landfill gas (biogas) at the Mid Shore 1 Landfill located in Easton, MD. Landfills are the third largest source of human related methane emissions in the United States. This project will demonstrate that low methane content biogas can be utilized to generate electricity. MES proposes the purchase, installation, and potentially long-term operation of a Qnergy 5.6 kW PowerGen Stirling generator at the MS-I landfill.
Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland – Manufacturing Energy and Sustainability Support:
The Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI) is a 501 c (6) not-for-profit stakeholder advocacy organization that promotes Maryland manufacturing. RMI offers programs and services designed to make Maryland companies more competitive. RMI has proposed a multi-year effort to expand its outreach and the provision of services to assist manufacturing companies adopt energy efficiency, renewable energy, green transportation and prepare to enter the offshore wind supply chain. This proposed plan is designed to significantly increase the number of manufacturing companies participating in MEA programs and unlike RMI’s initial effort, will not be bounded geographically by utility territory. RMI proposes a program that aligns Multi-faceted public and private sector businesses, government, and education resources with RMI. This network of partners may include but is not limited to: Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership; Maryland Department of Commerce; Maryland Economic Development Association; Maryland County Economic Development Agencies (23 counties and Baltimore City); Maryland Municipal League; Maryland Association of Counties; Maryland Public Television; Maryland World Class Consortia; Maryland Tech Council; Business Network for Offshore Wind; Maryland Public Broadcasting – Made in Maryland; TEDCO; Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership – (RAMP-MD); World Trade Center Institute. Building a more innovative system of success to better educate manufacturing leaders and public and private sector stakeholder groups about MEA programs and services.
Energetics – eFishing Vessel Pilot:
The Energetic eFishing Vessel will be executed by the Energetics Team in partnership with Somerset County Economic Development, Somers Cove Marina, and the Naval Integrations Project Team. Under this project, Energetics will perform a Market Assessment, Design, Demonstration, and Commercial Deployment and Manufacturing Plan for electrifying fishing vessels (eFishing vessels) and other marine vessels in Somerset County. This work will determine innovative technology options and a market pathway for marine electrification that can provide several benefits to local watermen and Somerset County and can be replicated in other Maryland communities, potentially fostering a new industry in Maryland. The project will kick-off with a market and technology study to assess the opportunity to repower conventional boat engines of Maryland watermen with clean, electric drivetrains. The results of this analysis will highlight areas of opportunity for realizing potential waterfront industry benefits, as well as possible positive impacts on the waterfront environment. Following the study, the project will go through a design & demonstration period to evaluate marine electric drive technology and conclude with the development of a commercialization plan to provide new capabilities for the region.
To learn more about the programs and grants MEA offers, please visit our website at energy.maryland.gov.