Maryland Energy Administration releases new funding for building resilient microgrids – The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced new funding for microgrids, resilient facility power systems, resiliency hubs and other distributed energy resource systems that bring affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy to Maryland communities and organizations sensitive to power disruption. In Fall of 2021, MEA provided funds through the Resilient Maryland and Resiliency Hub programs to generate opportunities for increased DER deployment across the state to help mitigate against the harmful effects of power outages caused by severe weather, malicious cyber incidents and other threats to the integrity of Maryland’s power grid. “Our state continues to be a leader and innovator in a growing clean energy economy and the projects that these programs fund are proof of those efforts,” said Mary Beth Tung, director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “Microgrids, resiliency hubs and other systems, in addition to clean and efficient energy upgrades are important components of achieving a truly resilient Maryland.”

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission requires solar be included in future Xcel Energy resource plans – Through a unanimous vote, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued an order in Xcel Energy’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The decision includes a target of 2.5-GW of new solar by 2030, a requirement that Xcel Energy establish a stakeholder group to address energy equity, and a requirement that distributed energy resources like solar be included in the company’s future resource plans. “The fact that no new gas plants were approved is a major victory for Minnesota’s clean energy future,” said Will Kenworthy, Midwest regulatory director at Vote Solar. “Existing fossil gas generation will be replaced by hundreds of megawatts of clean energy — leading to cleaner air, healthier communities and grid reliability. We and our allies will continue to watch closely, to ensure that Xcel’s progress on clean energy continues to move in the right direction.”

Community solar gets closer in Ohio as HB 450 gains momentum in Ohio – Community solar is trending up, but still needs plenty of regulatory help to the DOE’s 2025 goal. Ohio is one such state inching closer in this effort. Last week, House Bill 450 continued to advance, which would allow Ohio residents access to community solar power and provide for an initial build out of 2 GW of community solar across the state. “HB 450 will remove government barriers to community solar programs so more Ohioans can have the freedom to choose their energy future. Community solar draws private investment dollars to areas outside of the traditional utility model which means more jobs, economic development, and tax revenue for local communities, said Sarah Spence, Executive Director of the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum.