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Howard county announces historic legislation

Solar now allowed across county
Posted at 5:13 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 17:18:11-04

DAYTON, Md. — Howard County is expanding solar opportunities for its residents and businesses.

On Thursday, County Executive Calvin Ball announced historic new regulations in Council Bill (CB) 17-2021 unanimously passed by the Howard County Council in early May.

The legislation expands opportunities for solar within the county to:

  • Allow rooftop solar collectors in all zoning districts
  • Allow ground-mount Commercial Solar Facilities (CSFs) in more zoning districts, specifically allowing ground-mounted solar in commercial and industrial districts
  • Add a preliminary and final review by the Agricultural Preservation Board to allow input on the placement and other details of the project
  • Limit the size of ground-mounted commercial solar facility on Agricultural Land Preservation Program (ALPP) properties
  • Requires that ground mount solar facilities on ALPP provide pollinator or native grass habitats, grazing for livestock, or other ecologically enhancing alternatives under the solar array

"The expansion of solar puts Howard County at the forefront in Maryland in our fight against climate change and put us on track to meet out renewable energy goals including receiving 20% of our power for local government operations renewable sources by 2024,” said Ball.

The expansion also helps the county meet its goal of cutting energy use by 25% well beyond Maryland’s 15% reduction requirement.