Building Wind Projects and Electric Car Infrastructure

Del. John Olszewski Jr. writes that proposals include moving forward on electric vehicles, net energy metering and solar hot water.

As a legislator that represents miles of waterfront, the protection and preservation of our environment is one of my priorities. I am proud of my many years of high ratings from organizations such as the Maryland League of Conservation Voters in recognition of these efforts.  

This year, there are several proposals that will continue moving Maryland down the right road for the environment. Many of these bills have the added benefit of helping our economy grow.  

Perhaps the most discussed to date is the governor’s proposal to invest in offshore wind energy. The proposed 600 megawatt wind project would generate enough energy to power 95 percent of the homes of the Eastern Shore, creating 2,000 construction and 400 operational jobs in the process.  

I am committed to ensure that, to the extent possible, our local industries have the opportunity to participate in this job growth, and that any savings that occur as a result of investment in new power generation is shared by all ratepayers.

Other proposals include moving forward on electric vehicles, net energy metering and solar hot water.  

We are leading the way in Maryland with the rollout of electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure. Electric vehicles reduce the use of petroleum and reduce the cost of fuel, improve air quality and the health of the bay, and increase our energy independence.  

With the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt hitting the market, Maryland is poised to expand upon our prior efforts in this area, which include adopting an excise tax exemption for electric cars, a major expansion of the White Marsh General Motors plan to build electric motors, and the installation of approximately 65 charging stations around the state. This year, the governor is asking the legislature to consider the following initiatives to continue the progress on this front.

First is the creation of an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council, which will help prepare the state for the rapid integration of electric vehicles into Maryland communities. Another proposal would have the Public Service Commission create a pilot program that permits utilities to offer homeowners and businesses the opportunity to recharge electric vehicles during off-peak hours (10 p.m. – 6 a.m.), when the electric grid has excess capacity and energy is cheaper.  

Finally, the administration is proposing that the legislature adopt a tax credit program for electric vehicle charging equipment. Several other states have adopted similar councils, pilot programs and tax credit programs.

Net energy metering legislation will allow smaller renewable energy producers the opportunity to be fairly compensated for generating more energy than they use in a given calendar year, and allowing solar hot water installations to qualify for existing renewable energy credits will create even more green jobs, allowing a cost-effective way for residents to include renewable technologies into their homes and businesses.  

This session and at all times, I remain committed to doing all I can to help create jobs today and to preserve our environment for the future.

“Green” investments such as these allow us the opportunity to do both.  

mike a March 02, 2011 at 01:05 PM
I'm sorry, but the whole alternitive energy movement is just a waste of money. Sure, there are certain applications for wind and solar, but in general, without subsidies, these project are not cost effective. If they were, private companies would have been building them long ago without the governement offering tax credits, or the threat of mandates. The absolute best solar can do is a 20% efficiency. And at .1MW per acre, how much land would it take to replace Brandon Shores? 12,000. Spain, home of the worlds largest solar farm, has felt the disaster of alternative energy in lost dollars and jobs. In the depths of the UK's worst winter in a century, where was wind power? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1345439/Customers-face-huge-wind-farms-dont-work-cold.html Most of the green energy projects are boondogles that require eleborate accounting and financing tricks to appear credible. Do not put your name to these white elephants. We already have power sources that would create jobs to build. Sources that are reliable. Had America been building them for the past thiry years, this situation would not exist. Stop throwing money at substandard schemes, without delivering the energy that America needs. If you are truely concerned about a clean energy independent future, than get on Annapolis to do more to get Calvert Cliffs 3 up and running ASAP. France receives 80% of its energy from non fossil fuels. How? They went nuke. Isn't that a standard to shoot for?
Buzz Beeler March 02, 2011 at 10:49 PM
Mike, a well written analysis with a link to the facts. I wrote a very similar reply last night, and I don't know why its not posted. One large city who went the hot air rout, according to FOX, has already scrapped their green initiatives due to the expenditures. Del. Olszewski fails to do his homework and is always ready to spend out money. I guess the political elite think that we will fall hook, line and sinker for their thoughtless rhetoric. I hope you stick around and help keep these monarchies in line.
Langford Wells March 23, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Pro-nuclear-power, natural gas, and coal lobbyists owe environmentalists and the public trillions of dollars in subsidies, cost overruns, deaths, injuries, global warming, and poisoned water supplies. Solar and wind farms, combined with conservation and improving efficiency, are the only logical and affordable way to generate electricity. Watch the movie "Gasland" to see the real effects of gas fractionating. I've visited wind and solar farms in person. Pro-nuclear and coal lobbyists LOVE bigger and bigger taxes, because THEY don't pay them. They force them down the throats of the American public. Solar and wind farms have been proven to work exceptionally well, given the insignificant amount of government support they have received compared to the coal, natural gas, and nuclear industries.


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