BALTIMORE, MD - Groundswell, Inc has been awarded an inaugural Resilient Maryland pilot grant of $300,000 dollars from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to plan and design multiple community resiliency hubs throughout Baltimore's most vulnerable communities. Resiliency hubs provide a centralized, trusted community location where community members can access reliable power for their essential devices, continue to receive information as emergency situations develop, store medications sensitive to temperature, and safely gather until emergency services arrive.
“How we work is just as important as what we do, and Groundswell is putting energy equity and joyful service to the community at the center of this program,” commented Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell. “Building resilience - including solar and energy storage - is at the innovative edge of the clean energy economy, and we envision this program as a powerful opportunity for Baltimore communities to lead us all towards a better energy future."
“Maryland’s clean energy future needs to move forward and Resilient Maryland encourages this progress by providing vital funding to kick-start customized projects,”said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our push for clean energy ensures a more environmentally sustainable, more resilient and more prosperous Maryland.”
“Historically, Maryland has imported most of our energy from out of state coal-fired power plants,” explained MEA Director Mary Beth Tung.”The Resilient Maryland pilot offers a unique opportunity for innovation right here in Maryland across a variety of clean energy alternatives, reducing both financial risk and total project costs.”
This highly-competitive pilot was developed late in fiscal year (FY) 2020 to drive economic growth through innovative clean energy technology which will enable essential services, businesses and other organizations to resist power disruptions and outages. A total of 14 grant applications have been awarded $1.05 million dollars in funding.
“It’s exciting to see so much investment in clean energy and resilience, especially in cities like Baltimore,” said Lenwood Coleman, Vice President of Solar Development and Operations. “The impact that resiliency hubs and battery storage can have in black communities are powerful. I’m excited that Groundswell can be part of bringing higher levels of resilience to these communities and I hope it’s only the beginning in terms of continued investment in the area.”
Energy resiliency has taken center stage in the face of increasing global threats to grid integrity and severe storms which can cause extended power outages. The goal of this program is to provide MEA with replicable, scalable, and cost-effective solutions that will serve as models for wide-scale adoption. The high demand for this pilot underscores the importance of state investment in innovation and why the programs like Resilient Maryland can help kick-start job growth.
Award winners include projects from across the state and address a variety of groups from low-to-moderate income communities, to critical infrastructure facilities, to commercial projects as well as state and local government facilities in Maryland. These projects address essential infrastructure needs which will bring a lasting benefit to the state.
Groundswell is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that builds community power. Groundswell develops community solar projects and subscriber management programs that connect solar power with economic empowerment, enabling neighbors to work together to SharePower™ and substantial energy savings. Groundswell’s regional base focuses on the MidAtlantic and Southeast, with more than 50MW of solar power projects in development.