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Solar usage increases in Baltimore

Solar energy usage in Baltimore is growing, according to a report from Environment America.

Baltimore’s installed solar capacity grew from 7 megawatts to 11 megawatts from 2015 to 2016, according to “Shining Cities: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America.”

But Baltimore’s urban environment could provide some challenges in converting to solar energy.

“Urban rooftop solar can be challenging compared to the suburbs but is critical to equitable expansion of renewable access in Maryland,” said Corey Ramsden, of MD Solar United Neighborhoods. “We hope the city will continue to focus on supporting solar expansion in Baltimore with friendly, clear, and efficient permitting and inspection procedures.”

Nationally, Baltimore ranks 29th among cities for installed solar, according to the report. Environment Maryland, the local chapter of Environment America, called on the city to increase its solar capacity.

“By using solar power here in Baltimore, we can reduce pollution and improve public health for everyday Marylanders,” said Anna Hofman, a clean energy fellow at Environment America. “To realize these benefits, city leaders should continue to embrace a big vision for solar on rooftops throughout the community.”

City council members Eric Costello and Sharon Middleton also expressed support for more solar in the city.

“Baltimore City is an established leader in solar energy, and we will use our momentum to expand solar from commercial to residential with renewable energy programs, such as the PACE program that I introduced, to help not only green our City but also spur economic development,” Costello said in a statement. “I am looking forward to finding even more ways to make solar energy a reality in Baltimore.”

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