In order to reveal the shortcomings of the renewable energy contract process in Maryland, I personally testified at a hearing in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on SB513.
The bill, which was also heard in the House Health and Government Operations Committee, would require legislative oversight of future renewable energy contacts.
I pointed to the recently approved solar lease for Maryland Solar LLC for 250 state-owned acres in Hagerstown, Maryland as an example of how the process could be improved. The terms of the lease, which pays only $32,050 per year with no additional benefits to the State, seem to be in stark contrast to a recently brokered EPG Solar contract with Washington County which would bring in over $515,000 per year in revenues.
When one company in Maryland pays almost $43,000 per month in ground rent and benefits to generate solar power, while another pays only $2,670, there is obviously a discrepancy in the contract approval process. The Maryland General Assembly should have the ability to oversee the contract process to ensure that the public gets the best possible deal.