Dr. Morgan Taps into Commercial Solar Incentives
Dr. Morgan and Associates in Mechanicsville, MD is among the first medical offices in southern Maryland to install solar panels. The solar power generation system comprises 200, 315-watt solar panels for a total size of 63 kilowatts (kW). The system was installed by local solar installer, Energy Select of Leonardtown, MD.
According to Energy Select’s Chris Horstkamp, “The computer simulation models for this ground-mounted solar power system predict 80,225 kilowatt hours (kWh) of annual power.”
To put that in perspective, a typical home with a $200 per month electric bill will consume about 18,500 kWh, making this one of the largest solar installations in St. Mary’s County.
“It’s always great to be able to save money and save the planet,” explains owner, Dr. Luke Morgan, DDS. “As one of the largest dental offices in southern Maryland, we have always practiced safety and conservation with our resources. Now we are able to expand upon that and fully power our practice with zero-emission solar energy.”
The investment for the dental practice represents a growing trend across the country, all of Maryland, and locally here in southern Maryland. “Commercial solar installations represent our largest growth area,” according to Horstkamp who directs the sales efforts for Energy Select.
That makes a lot of sense. While it is widely known that there are generous incentives for residential solar projects, the little-known secret in the solar industry is that the commercial incentives are even better.
While both the residential and commercial solar power systems qualify for a 26% federal tax credit, commercial solar projects qualify for Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). This allows businesses to accelerate the depreciation schedule to get tax benefits faster.
The Maryland Energy Administration also helps. While every qualifying project gets a $1,000 rebate, commercial projects can get more based on the system’s size. For example an 8 kW commercial solar system would get $1,000, but a 16kW commercial solar system would get $2,200 in rebates from the state.
Commercial projects also receive the same solar incentives as residential projects, such as Solar Renewable Energy Credits, Maryland net metering, and a much-reduced electric bill.
The dental practice saved more money by participating in the SMECO Small Business Solutions lighting program, which Energy Select manages for the utility. The program rebates about 75% of the costs to retrofit to more efficient LED lighting. Not only did that save money on the previous electric bill, but with a smaller bill, allowed the practice to build a slightly smaller solar power system.
The project is visible from the parking lot of the dental offices at 28095 Three Notch Rd, Mechanicsville, MD 20659.