Montgomery County - Green Power Purchasing

Program Montgomery County - Green Power Purchasing
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector Local
Last Update
State Maryland
Technologies Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics

NOTE: County Bill 9-14 enacted in 2014 requires at least 50% of the County Government's electric power usage be supplied by renewable energy by fiscal year 2015, and 100% of the by 2016.

In October 2000, a group six county agencies, consisting of Montgomery County, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission, Montgomery College, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, began purchasing power on a competitive basis. In March 2003, the county's energy policy was amended to incorporate the purchase of renewable energy and to expand energy-efficiency efforts. This resolution required all county agencies to purchase 5% of their total electricity supply from power generated by zero-emission renewable resources.

In May 2005, Montgomery County signed a contract with Washington Gas Energy Services and its wind energy supplier, Community Energy, to supply 5% of a multi-jurisdictional group's power with wind-energy resources, resulting in a purchase of 38.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year for two years from wind facilities in West Virginia. The contract applied to six county agencies, 11 municipalities and Prince George's County. In early 2006, the county and its partners doubled their commitment to 10% renewable energy (Resolution 15-1529) for FY 2007 with a further goal of 20% by FY 2011. The County further updated the green purchasing policy in October 2008, enacting a resolution setting an FY 2009 goal of 15% renewable energy while maintaining the FY 2011 goal of 20%. The 2008 resolution also updated the County's renewable energy qualification criteria to include only wind, solar, anaerobic digestion, landfill gas, biomass, geothermal, and tidal energy sources as defined under the Tier I resource definitions of the state RPS.

In April 2010, the County and its partners announced a new green power purchase of almost 162 million kWh, boosting the County's purchase to 30% of its annual electricity use. However, as of June 2012 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power partnership lists a current purchase of 134.6 million kWh, or 25% of electricity demand for the collective group. The County's FY2013 budget documents assume a continuation of these purchases, with most county agencies achieving a minimum purchase of 20% renewable energy through the extension of current contracts. The Montgomery County Clean Energy Buyers Group currently consists of Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and The Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission. Also participating are the City of College Park, Chevy Chase Village, Chevy Chase Village Section 5, City of Gaithersburg, City of Rockville, City of Takoma Park, Town of Glen Echo, Town of Kensington, Town of Laytonsville and Town of Somerset. 

In April 2014, the county enacted Bill 9-14 which requires at least 50% of the County government’s electric power usage be supplied by renewable energy by fiscal year 2015, and 100% of the by 2016. This applies to County Government facilities, and not agencies and municipalities, however many agencies and municipalities participating in the buying group have matched the County’s commitments. The county is listed in EPA's National Top 100 users of largest green power users in the country. The status of the goal can be accessed on the county's website.


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