Community Solar in Carroll County
What is community solar?
Community solar facilities are referred to as “community solar energy generating systems” or “CSEGS” in Maryland law. A community solar facility allows a property owner to use solar energy as a power source without having to install or construct a facility on-site. A community solar facility is a subscription-based service and power supply that provides a credit or reduction in your electric bill in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. A property owner can subscribe to any community solar facility in your power company’s service area with available subscriptions. The facility does not have to be located in Carroll County.
Community Solar Moratorium Process & Removal of Community Solar as Use in the Agricultural Zone
- January 19, 2023: Presentation to Board of County Commissioners
- March 9, 2023: The Board of County Commissioners adopted a six-month moratorium on the processing, review, permitting, and construction of community solar energy generating systems in the Agricultural Zone.
- March 23, 2023: The Board provided direction to staff on the desired applicability of Section 158.153(E), as well as direction to address the issues in the March 23, 2023, presentation (link below).
- March 29, 2023: Staff provided the Planning and Zoning Commission with an overview of the moratorium and process.
- April 11 to May 1, 2023: The work group met several times to discuss and provide feedback on issues of concern. (See Community Solar in Agricultural Zone Work Group below)
- May 16, 2023: LRM staff finalized and forwarded a staff report to the Board for review.
- May 18, 2023: Board of County Commissioners reviewed staff report and directed staff to present removal of section 158.153(E) “Community solar energy generating systems (CSEGS), in agricultural zones” to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
- June 7, 2023: Staff presented potential removal of section 158.153(E) of County code to Planning and Zoning Commission for discussion and recommendation back to the Board of County Commissioners. The Planning and Zoning Commission requested additional discussion before making a recommendation to the Board.
- June 8, 2023: The Board of County Commissioners voted to direct staff to schedule a public hearing for the removal of 158.153(E) from the County Code.
- June 20, 2023: The Planning and Zoning Commission will continue discussion of the Board’s proposal and provide a recommendation.
- July 13, 2023: The Board held a public hearing regarding the proposed removal of 158.153(E) from the County Code. At the close of the public hearing, the Board voted affirmatively to remove this section from the Code. A news release was sent out on July 14, 2023.
- July 23, 2023: The action was effective. However, it will take some time before the change is reflected in Solar Energy Generating Systems section of the online Code at American Legal Publishing.
Community Solar in Agricultural Zone Work Group:
A work group was formed to discuss and provide feedback on the issues of concern. The work group is comprised of the following individuals, representing the stakeholder groups directed by the Board.
- Cheryl Bosse - adjacent property owner to current proposed CSEGS (Nora Valley)
- Charlie Coggeshall, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) - community solar industry
- Annette Fleishell - adjacent property owner to current proposed CSEGS (Spring Valley)
- Don Hering, Carroll County Farm Bureau – ag community, not impacted, opposes CSEGS
- Ralph Robertson, Carroll County Farm Bureau – ag community, not impacted, opposes CSEGS
- Patricia Toth – property owner with proposed CSEGS (Chaberton Solar Sunshine)
The work group meetings were not open for public comment, but the meetings were recorded and posted below. While they are not live-streamed, they are available for viewing by clicking the link below. Each meeting is 3 - 4 hours in length.
- Work Group Meeting #4 Recording - May 1 2023
- Work Group Meeting #3 Recording - April 25 2023
- Work Group Meeting #2 Recording - April 19 2023
- Work Group Meeting #1 Recording - April 11 2023
For more information regarding community solar in Carroll County or the moratorium process, contact Brenda Dinne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-386-2140.
The video of the Commissioners' discussion and decision to implement the moratorium is below.
Public Hearing on Removal of Community Solar from Agricultural Zone held on July 13, 2023.