Solar panel, solar energy,Solar in Critical Areas Annapolis
Written by George Young

Solar in Critical Areas – Maryland, Virginia and Delaware

Solar Panels, Solar Energy, Solar in Critical Areas AnnapolisWhat is the Critical Area?

The Critical Area includes all land within 1,000 feet of Maryland’s tidal waters and tidal wetlands. Along our precious shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, we have had many homeowners looking to take advantage of enhancing their waterfront landscape with solar panels.

Aside from the clear economic advantages, we are in solar for all the right reasons; to protect the environment, preserve our natural resources, and to leave the world a better place. With that said, installing solar in the critical areas encourages us to comply with two important regulations that ensure shoreline preservation.

Lot Coverage

In the critical area, you are allotted a certain amount of lot coverage depending on the size of your lot. Our first step in the process is to prepare a “Lot Coverage Calculation” worksheet that indicates how much lot coverage you have available and ensures that there is legally enough space to account for the square footage of your new solar panels.

Buffer Management Plan

Though lot coverage is not impacted by solar installations outside of the critical area, the total area of additional lot coverage leads us to our next calculation. The Buffer Management Plan requires that every square foot of additional lot coverage is mitigated by planting either grasses, shrubs, or trees within 100 feet of the shoreline. The goal for this mitigation is to slow down the erosion of the shoreline, and we are big supporters of this mission. There is some flexibility with the types of flora that can be planted in this area, so we consult the homeowner in selecting preferred plants for their new shoreline oasis.

Though this process involves a few more steps in terms of permits, we have become subject matter experts thanks to our waterfront solar supporters in Kent County, Queen Anne’s County, Talbot County, Dorchester County and Anne Arundel County. Every county has a slightly different twist on their permitting requirements, and this helps local companies like SES thrive.

Written by George Young

Wash City Paper DC Green

Real Estate Agency Literally Giving Away Money for Solar Installations

At the risk of appearing to favor one of the cooler real estate agents in town, I’ll just pass on the news that Green D.C. Realty is putting up its own money to entice homebuyers to put solar thermal installations on their new purchases. They’re calling it a “solar home coupon”: You buy a house with them, and they give you $2,000 towards the setup with Solar Energy Services, which will also help arrange near-term financing to tide you over until the federal and city tax credits come through.

As we saw with my story a few weeks ago, local solar companies are trying really really hard to get people over the hump to their first solar purchase. Green D.C. Realty is betting that the incentive will bring in enough business to make good on their investment.