Article - Public Utilities
(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b) “Administration” means the Maryland Energy Administration.
(c) “Fund” means the Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Fund established under § 9–20B–05 of the State Government Article.
(d) “Geothermal heating and cooling system” means a system that:
(1) exchanges thermal energy from groundwater or a shallow ground source to generate thermal energy through a geothermal heat pump or a system of geothermal heat pumps interconnected with any geothermal extraction facility that is:
(i) a closed loop or a series of closed loop systems in which fluid is permanently confined within a pipe or tubing and does not come in contact with the outside environment; or
(ii) an open loop system in which ground or surface water is circulated in an environmentally safe manner directly into the facility and returned to the same aquifer or surface water source;
(2) meets or exceeds the current federal Energy Star product specification standards;
(3) is manufactured, installed, and operated in accordance with applicable government and industry standards; and
(4) does not feed electricity back to the grid.
(e) “Industrial process load” means the consumption of electricity by a manufacturing process at an establishment classified in the manufacturing sector under the North American Industry Classification System, Codes 31 through 33.
(e–1) “Legacy geothermal system” means a geothermal heating and cooling system that was placed in service on or before December 31, 2022.
(f) “Offshore wind energy” means energy generated by a qualified offshore wind project.
(g) “Offshore wind renewable energy credit” or “OREC” means a renewable energy credit equal to the generation attributes of 1 megawatt–hour of electricity that is derived from offshore wind energy.
(g–1) “Offshore wind transmission project” means an electric transmission project selected by the Commission under § 7–704.3 of this subtitle to interconnect directly or indirectly with one or more qualified offshore wind projects.
(h) “Old growth timber” means timber from a forest:
(1) at least 5 acres in size with a preponderance of old trees, of which the oldest exceed at least half the projected maximum attainable age for the species; and
(2) that exhibits several of the following characteristics:
(i) shade–tolerant species are present in all age and size classes;
(ii) randomly distributed canopy gaps are present;
(iii) a high degree of structural diversity characterized by multiple growth layers reflecting a broad spectrum of ages is present;
(iv) an accumulation of dead wood of varying sizes and stages of decomposition accompanied by decadence in live dominant trees is present; and
(v) pit and mound topography can be observed.
(h–1) “PJM Interconnection” means PJM Interconnection, LLC or any successor organization that services the PJM region.
(i) “PJM region” means the control area administered by the PJM Interconnection, as the area may change from time to time.
(i–1) “Post–2022 geothermal system” means a geothermal heating and cooling system that is placed in service on or after January 1, 2023.
(j) “Poultry litter” means the fecal and urinary excretions of poultry, including wood shavings, sawdust, straw, rice hulls, and other bedding material for the disposition of manure.
(k) “Qualified offshore wind project” means a wind turbine electricity generation facility, including the associated transmission–related interconnection facilities and equipment, that:
(1) is located:
(i) on the outer continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean in an area that the United States Department of the Interior designates for leasing; and
(ii) more than 10 miles off the coast of the State for a project selected under § 7–704.4 of this subtitle or approved under § 7–704.1 of this subtitle after June 1, 2023; and
(2) interconnects to the PJM Interconnection grid:
(i) at a point located on the Delmarva Peninsula; or
(ii) through an offshore wind transmission project selected under § 7–704.3 of this subtitle.
(l) (1) “Qualifying biomass” means a nonhazardous, organic material that is available on a renewable or recurring basis, and is:
(i) waste material that is segregated from inorganic waste material and is derived from sources including:
1. except for old growth timber, any of the following forest–related resources:
A. mill residue, except sawdust and wood shavings;
B. precommercial soft wood thinning;
D. brush; or
E. yard waste;
2. a pallet, crate, or dunnage;
3. agricultural and silvicultural sources, including tree crops, vineyard materials, grain, legumes, sugar, and other crop by–products or residues; or
4. gas produced from the anaerobic decomposition of animal waste or poultry waste; or
(ii) a plant that is cultivated exclusively for purposes of being used at a Tier 1 renewable source or a Tier 2 renewable source to produce electricity.
(2) “Qualifying biomass” includes biomass listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection that is used for co–firing, subject to § 7–704(d) of this subtitle.
(3) “Qualifying biomass” does not include:
(i) unsegregated solid waste or postconsumer wastepaper;
(ii) black liquor, or any product derived from black liquor; or
(iii) an invasive exotic plant species.
(m) “Renewable energy credit” or “credit” means a credit equal to the generation attributes of 1 megawatt–hour of electricity that is derived from a Tier 1 renewable source or a Tier 2 renewable source that is located:
(1) in the PJM region;
(2) outside the area described in item (1) of this subsection but in a control area that is adjacent to the PJM region, if the electricity is delivered into the PJM region; or
(3) on the outer continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean in an area that:
(i) the United States Department of the Interior designates for leasing after coordination and consultation with the State in accordance with § 388(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; and
(ii) is between 10 and 80 miles off the coast of the State.
(n) “Renewable energy portfolio standard” or “standard” means the percentage of electricity sales at retail in the State that is to be derived from Tier 1 renewable sources and Tier 2 renewable sources in accordance with § 7–703(b) of this subtitle.
(o) “Renewable on–site generator” means a person who generates electricity on site from a Tier 1 renewable source or a Tier 2 renewable source for the person’s own use.
(p) “Round 1 offshore wind project” means a qualified offshore wind project that:
(1) is between 10 and 30 miles off the coast of the State; and
(2) the Commission approved under § 7–704.1 of this subtitle before July 1, 2017.
(p–1) “Round 2 offshore wind project” means a qualified offshore wind project that:
(1) is not less than 10 miles off the coast of the State; and
(2) the Commission approves under § 7–704.1 of this subtitle on or after July 1, 2017.
(q) (1) “Solar water heating system” means a system that:
(i) consists of glazed liquid–type flat–plate or tubular solar collectors or concentrating solar thermal collectors as defined and certified to the OG–100 standard of the Solar Ratings and Certification Corporation;
(ii) generates energy using solar radiation for the purpose of heating water; and
(iii) does not feed electricity back to the electric grid.
(2) “Solar water heating system” does not include a system that generates energy using solar radiation for the sole purpose of heating a hot tub or swimming pool.
(r) “Thermal biomass system” means a system that:
(i) primarily animal manure, including poultry litter, and associated bedding to generate thermal energy; and
(ii) food waste or qualifying biomass for the remainder of the feedstock;
(2) is used in the State; and
(3) complies with all applicable State and federal statutes and regulations, as determined by the appropriate regulatory authority.
(s) “Tier 1 renewable source” means one or more of the following types of energy sources:
(1) solar energy, including energy from photovoltaic technologies and solar water heating systems;
(3) qualifying biomass;
(4) methane from the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials in a landfill or wastewater treatment plant;
(5) geothermal, including energy generated through geothermal exchange from or thermal energy avoided by, groundwater or a shallow ground source;
(6) ocean, including energy from waves, tides, currents, and thermal differences;
(7) a fuel cell that produces electricity from a Tier 1 renewable source under item (3) or (4) of this subsection;
(8) a small hydroelectric power plant of less than 30 megawatts in capacity that is licensed or exempt from licensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;
(9) poultry litter–to–energy;
(11) refuse–derived fuel;
(12) thermal energy from a thermal biomass system; and
(13) raw or treated wastewater used as a heat source or sink for a heating or cooling system.
(t) “Tier 2 renewable source” means hydroelectric power other than pump storage generation.