Solar Microgrid Implementation in Prince George’s County, Maryland

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French, Chase
Van Kirk, Jack
Messick, Andrew
Megale Sanders, Martin
This paper discusses the benefits associated with developing a solar microgrid in a low-income community in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The benefits include reduced air pollution in the community, reduced adverse health impacts from air pollution, reduced spending on utility bills, as well as increased energy security and a more equitable distribution of renewable energy. Using various sources including reports, academic articles, and case studies, this study proves installation of a microgrid in the County would benefit the community and the surrounding area. An in-depth cost-benefit analysis proves the economic feasibility of a microgrid, and the social benefits provide a sound argument for the benefits of installation. Barriers to implementation are also discussed, focusing on problems related to the source of initial funding. The study concludes with two recommendations for implementing resilient solar photovoltaic systems in Prince George’s County. First, finding alternative funding for a microgrid such as federal grants, public partnership, private sector involvement, and community-based funding. Second, the County should consider using community solar rather than a microgrid based on case studies that indicate the cost-effectiveness and increased feasibility of community solar compared to a solar microgrid.
Final project for PLCY400: Public Policy Senior Capstone (Fall 2022). University of Maryland, College Park.