ANNAPOLIS MD- In the late afternoon on March 9,2016, Senate Bill 726 (Maryland Clean Energy Center- Clean Energy Technology Funding) was heard in the Senate Finance Committee. Senate Bill 726 is asking for a $30 million public investment fund, that Maryland Clean Energy Center would manage with the goal of attracting a more significant commitment of private sector capital into the clean energy industry. The bill would also support the continued operation of the Maryland Clean Energy Center. Maryland Clean Energy Center’s Executive Director, Katherine Magruder, and MCEC’s Director of Finance, Wyatt Shiflett, alongside many of MCEC’s stakeholders, who represent a broad sector of the clean energy industry, were there to testify in support of the bill.
Katherine Magruder opened the testimony using an analogy comparing a quarter to a seed, and the dollar would be the plant that comes forth from it, as an overall testament to how the bill would be a wise investment for the state of Maryland. In her testimony she referenced the success of the other green bank models in New York and Connecticut, and stated that $30 million is a rather “modest investment” seeing as the other two green banks had investments of over $100 million. Wyatt Shiflett, MCEC’s Director of Finance, went on to describe the economic specifics of the bill and how a public and private sector partnership would grow the clean energy marketplace.
Geoff Oxnam, CEO of American Microgrid Solutions, testified in support of the bill and offered a personal experience to the Senate. He explained how “The Maryland Green Bank will help low income residents break out of the downward spiral caused by high energy bills. For these people their money is literally going out of the window due to poor insulation.” Michael Giangrandi, CEO of AJ Michaels, warned the Senate that “without MCEC small businesses and jobs will suffer.” There was no opposing testimony, and the hearing ended with Senator Middleton declaring his support of the bill.