To avoid the kind of grid instability and electrical outages in Fells Point, Canton and other growth areas, Maryland should simply require all new residential construction to include at least 3 kilowatts of solar energy per house or apartment. Brownouts occur on hot summer days, the same times that solar panels produce maximum output (and cooling shade). Three kilowatts or about 12 panels can run a 2-ton whole house air conditioning system during the midday peak load period. In addition, panels shade what is underneath and keep everything cooler.
This requirement would apply to all new construction HVAC permits. For those houses and apartments that have no practical solar access, a comparable investment fee would be made into a fund for BGE to add 3-kW utility arrays in neighborhoods for each such home.
It is not cost-effective for Baltimore Gas and Electric to keep adding expensive fossil fuel generation plants and heavier distribution lines across the state to meet these peak summer demands when solar can do it right where it is needed and at no future cost for fuel or carbon emissions or need for long new transmission lines. Home solar is ideal for meeting peak air conditioning electrical load because the time of need is equal to the time of supply.
Bob Bruninga, Glen BurnieCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun