ANNAPOLIS (May 20, 2010) - Governor Martin OMalley today signed into law a series of five bills that he says will promote green job creation for our workers and sustainability across our State.
Key bills enacted include an acceleration of the States solar Renewable Portfolio Standard to put more clean energy on the grid faster, as well as successfully extending renewable energy tax credits for businesses interested in going green, and tax credits for families to purchase plug-in electric vehicles as they become commercially available later over the coming year.
Energy touches every aspect of our lives from the cost of heating our homes to sustaining our resources for future generations, said Governor OMalley. In these last three years, we have made the choices that have transformed Maryland into one of the leading clean energy states in the nation. Each of the bills signed into law today will provide resources and incentives for our families and workforce, create jobs, and fuel innovation as we continue to strive for a Maryland that is truly Smart, Green and Growing.
The new legislation includes:
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax - Tax Credit For Electric Vehicles (HB 469)
This Administration bill creates a tax credit for the purchase of qualified plug-in electric vehicles equal to 100% of the State vehicle excise tax imposed, not to exceed $2,000. The bill requires a transfer of $279,000 from the Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Fund to the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) in fiscal 2011, $939,600 in fiscal 2012, and $1,287,000 in fiscal 2013. The tax credit applies to electric vehicles purchased from October 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes - Use by Plug-In Vehicles (SB 602 / HB 674)
This bill authorizes a plug-in electric vehicle affixed with a State permit designating it as such to use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. There are HOV lanes along two federal highways in the State: one on I-270 in Montgomery County; and one on U.S. Route 50 in Prince Georges County. The bill will sunset on October 1, 2013.
Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act of 2010 (HB 464)
This Administration bill extends the termination date of the clean energy incentive tax credit to December 31, 2015. The bill also extends to January 1, 2016, the date by which a facility must begin producing qualified energy in order to claim the credit; and prohibits the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) from issuing an initial credit certificate for less than $1,000. The bill also makes the clean energy incentive tax credit refundable.
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Solar Energy (SB 277)
This Administration bill increases the percentage requirements of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) that must be purchased from Tier 1 solar energy sources each year between 2011 and 2016. The bill also increases the alternative compliance payment (ACP) for a shortfall in solar RPS requirements by $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) over the current amount in 2011 and 2012, by $0.10 per kWh between 2013 and 2016.