Fight for Montgomery County community solar
Update: In May, 2018, the Montgomery County Council passed Zoning Text Amendment 18-01 as introduced, paving the way for community solar projects in Montgomery County. Thank you to the hundreds of solar supporters who made their voices heard by signing our petition! For more information, read our blog post.
Original petition text
I am proud to join Solar United Neighbors of Maryland in standing up for solar rights by supporting community solar in Montgomery County. I urge the Montgomery County Council to support community solar by passing Zoning Text Amendment 18-01. Thank you for introducing and considering this important amendment! Please take one more step and include a provision to allow a limited, pollinator friendly, amount of the Agricultural Reserve to be used for community solar projects. Having zoning laws that allow and support community solar would be a victory for cleaner air and water by the Bay, will increase economic investment in our county, and save money for local residents who subscribe to these projects—including low- and moderate-income folks currently locked out of the solar market.
Community solar allows our neighbors who can’t install their own solar system to still enjoy the benefits of solar—including lower electricity bills and less pollution that comes from clean, locally produced energy. Community solar also creates good local jobs that help to boost the local economy. Understanding the need to protect agricultural land, and the communities that live and rely on this land, the entire community solar projects would, if no other land was used, be less than 0.43% of the total Agricultural Reserve in Montgomery County. Making community solar available in the Agricultural Reserve will give farmers more choices and add sorely needed revenue by producing these community benefits on their own land. When done carefully, solar is not in competition with agriculture. It should be another tool to keep farmers successful and actively working their land, and, through the addition of pollinator friendly standards, can contribute to the healthy fabric of agriculture across the county.
Montgomery County Council: please show your support for local residents, farmers, and the Chesapeake Bay by passing this amendment and moving forward with community solar projects.