Maryland Senate overrides Gov. Hogan's veto of energy bill, raising renewables goal

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive.

Dive Brief:

  • Lawmakers in the Maryland Senate voted 32-13 to expand the state's renewable energy target, overriding Gov. Larry Hogan (R)'s veto of the measure in May of last year.
  • The Senate's vote followed on a similar move in the House of Delegates earlier this week. The Baltimore Sun points out that the Democratic majority legislature has overridden a veto on several issues, ranging from felons' rights to how hotel taxes are collected.
  • The law will raise Maryland's renewable portfolio standard from 20% to 25% by 2020, a decision environmentalists immediately cheered. 

Dive Insight:

Largely along party lines, Maryland lawmakers looked past increased electric bills and voted to boost the amount of carbon-free energy utilities in the state provide customers. In response, Hogan took to Facebook and posted a list of Senators who voted in favor, urging constituents to complain.

"It will be an additional charge on your energy bill each month to pay for overly expensive solar and wind energy credits, the majority of which are created by companies outside of Maryland," he wrote.

Last year, Maryland electric suppliers needed renewable energy credits for 15.9% of their supply, with a goal of 20% by 2022. Now, utilities must reach 25% by 2020. The bill also raises the solar carve-out to 2.5% by 2020, creating incentives for roughly 1,300 MW of new clean energy.