Who We Are
Maryland Solar United Neighborhoods (MD SUN) is a project of the Community Power Network. We promote solar across the state by building a solar network among residents, community organizations, faith-based groups and businesses. Our objective is to create community solar models that can be replicated throughout Maryland, the six-state Chesapeake Bay watershed, and beyond. MD-SUN provides free technical assistance and other organizing support to individuals and groups interested in going solar.
MD SUN is a catalyst to deploy solar in Maryland by building a positive feedback loop between projects and policy. Our goal is to:
- Promote community-based solar projects in key locations across the state and use those projects to inspire, educate, and mobilize a diverse constituency for solar energy.
- Lead, promote, educate and create public awareness among citizens and elected leaders in Maryland to support policies that expand access to solar statewide
Why We Are Here
MD-SUN grew out of concern for our planet’s environmental health, our personal well-being, and the future of our children and grandchildren. The negative effects of human activity, development, and our continuing use of fossil fuels are now irrefutable. The world’s climate is changing and growing warmer because of the billions of tons of carbon and other greenhouse gases we are dumping into the atmosphere. One of the biggest impacts of this will be sea level rise which will have particularly serious repercussions on the world’s coastal cities. Locally, communities located near or islands in the Chesapeake Bay will be affected.
We seek instead to move along another path that relies on renewable energy sources such as solar that may make us independent of fossil fuels one day. We believe that the great gift of the sun, which lights and warms every part of the earth, should be claimed and used by everyone everywhere. This runs contrary to how coal, oil and other fossil fuel resources are exploited – burned in large, centralized electricity-generating plants with the power transmitted to end users, sometimes at great distances.
Solar power, and community solar power in particular, does not pollute. It can be generated at large facilities containing thousands of solar panels or harnessed by a few panels at a time on a house, apartment building, retail store, church, parking lot, or open field to meet individual or local energy demands.
Democratizing Solar Energy
When Americans are polled about solar energy, about 90% of us are favorably disposed. Why then don’t we see more solar systems being installed on residences if there is so much support? Part of the answer can be found in a second percentage – 80%. That represents the American families that are unable to install solar on the roof of their home. The reasons are numerous – lack of solar access because of shading conditions or poor orientation, a roof needing repair, restrictive historic district regulations, multi-family building ownership limitations or maybe just the initial cost of the solar installation.
MD-SUN strives to empower that 80% by supporting individuals and communities through the dissemination of information, technical assistance, and the organization of projects that will provide local power and serve as models for others to follow.