05/14/13 With more wind energy, PJM could save us $7 billion per year

A study by Americans for a Clean Energy Grid and Synapse Energy Economics shows that Wind Energy may not be as “expensive” as what is generally thought: “PJM Interconnection (the power grid Maryland and 13 other starts are a part of) could save its customers $6.9 billion if it more than doubled the amount of wind energy it currently plans to build.”

“By the end of 2012, about 3.4 percent of PJM‘s total installed capacity was generated from wind. Over the next 13 years, with the advent of renewable portfolio standards, states within the PJM system (including Maryland) will expand their wind energy capacity to 11 percent of their total installed capacity.”

Read the Full Article Here

Also, check out where Maryland gets it’s energy, how it’s used, and more from at the Maryland Energy Association website: http://energy.maryland.gov/energy101/

10-10-11 Seven citizen groups address 194 land use change proposals with letter to the Frederick County Planning Commissioners

Download letter as pdf file here.




PATH Project withdraws plans to build high power electric power lines across southern Frederick County

Please read Notice of Withdrawal and the Sugarloaf Conservancy’s press release.

Congratulations to the many many citizens throughout the region who worked hard for 2.5 years to point out the fallacies and issues with the PATH project.  Notably:  Doug and Peg Kaplan and Chad and Karen Baker.

Water pollution permit granted for dirty coal-fired power plant in Williamsport

Please spread the word!

Maryland has its fair share of old and dirty coal-fired power plants.  One of the oldest and dirtiest is the R Paul Smith coal-fired power plant in Williamsport MD, just outside of Hagerstown.  Allegheny Energy, the corporate owner, managed to obtain a new water pollution permit for its onsite coal ash disposal that is severely lacking in restrictions for heavy metal pollution. This permit process  will have major impacts on the future of the plant, as well as the health of the surrounding communities and environment.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club, and Clean Water Action are hosting an educational community forum on February 3rd at the Williamsport Public Library (104 East Potomac Street) to discuss impacts and provide information about the latest water pollution permit and air pollution data from the plant.  Come to learn more and become involved. RSVP today!!

Support clean, renewable offshore wind!

Thanks to all who came out to learn about Offshore Wind Power.  Read local coverage of the event.

Offshore wind is NOT A DONE DEAL.  Significant regulatory and market barriers exist at the state and national level that stand in the way of developing Maryland’s offshore wind potential (and jobs!). Our delegation is critical to helping push this forward.  Please write to your senators and delegates to express your support with key points.

Offshore wind can:

  • produce the equivalent of two thirds of Maryland’s current electricity demand
  • offer clean, emission-free energy
  • create  4000 manufacturing jobs and many more in construction and operations
  • improve electric reliability and price stability  - wind energy can power cars and homes with locked in prices since the source is inexhaustible and free!
  • allow greater independence from price fluctuations of oil, coal and gas commodities – noting that electricity bills have risen 75 % in Maryland since 2002
  • provide an offset energy source to negate the need for the current PATH and substation plans – thus avoiding the tremendous strife and personal property damage  that will occur by bringing dirty coal energy through Frederick County

In the 2011 Maryland General Assembly session, our state has a huge opportunity to move ahead with renewable energy and towards energy independence.  Google has agreed to contribute an estimated $5 billion for an undersea cable project that will stretch 350 miles from New Jersey to Virginia with the capacity to connect 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines to nearly 2 million homes.

09-02-2010 FNP Picking our pockets – to pay for PATH (letter to the editor)

In September one county board will consider whether the PATH project is consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan; another will consider a zoning exception to permit a substation near Mount Airy. This “Kemptown” substation will be the terminus of a 275-mile transmission line from a coal-burning plant in West Virginia.No PATH energy is for us; it will pass through the county, headed farther east. But we’ll pay in loss of scenic views, lowered property values, and runoff from its 200-foot-wide right of way. Over 1,300 households near the Kemptown substation may also lose peace of mind, worrying that their water wells would be ruined if fire should cause a transformer meltdown.

We will pay plenty out of pocket, too. Federal law gives Allegheny a 14.3 percent return for PATH, paid by all customers, not just PATH users. It’s also ironic that we’re all paying already, through add-ons to our bills!

For example, Allegheny is recovering $2.1 million from us for its ads in 2008 and 2009 to sell us on PATH! So we’re paying to be lobbied for something that gives us no benefit — some deal!




Take the Wind Survey!

Through a public survey and information on wind power we hope to help individuals, farms, businesses and municipalities make good decisions about investing in the appropriate small and medium-sized wind energy systems for their sites. We can also share this information with legislators so that your desires may be better understood.

Take the Survey!

04-28-2010 7pm Clean Energy Grant Winner Demonstrates Thermal-Solar System


EmPOWER CLEAN ENERGY Communities Grant Winner to Dedicate and Explain New Thermal-Solar System on location with an energy legislation update by Maryland Assembly Delegate Sue Hecht and an update on Maryland’s Clean Energy Center Executive Director,  I. Katherine Magruder.

Curtis Nelson, Principle of NCP Solar/Nelson Commercial Plumbing of Frederick, local vendor/installer of the Claggett Center’s thermal solar system, will provide a program about the features and benefits of thermal solar systems. He will have a cutaway model of a thermal solar system and photos available to demonstrate the Claggett Center installation.   EmPOWER CLEAN ENERGY Communities  grant supported installation of a thermal solar hot water system that now uses the renewable energy of sunshine to pre-heat water used in the Bishop Claggett Center’s institutional kitchen dishwashing system. The system is expected to offset annually the need for approximately 100 therms of gas with clean renewable energy. According to Malcolm Woolf, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration who toured the installation earlier, “The Maryland Energy Administration is thrilled to partner with the Bishop Claggett Center through the O’Malley-Brown administration’s EmPOWERing Clean Communities initiative to make continued strides in realizing our shared energy efficiency goals,” commented MEA Director Malcolm Woolf, “This marks yet another big step forward in meeting our State’s EmPOWER Maryland goal of 15% reduced energy consumption by 2015.”  Come and learn about the new thermal solar installation “pre-heating” the water used in the Bishop Claggett Center’s kitchen.

Location:  Bishop Claggett Conference Center 3035 Buckeystown Pike , Buckeystown, 21717

The program is free and open to the public.

Please RSVP to Stuart at 301-874-5147 X103

Call to Action over Public Service Commission Changes


The Sugar Loaf Conservancy asks that you write letters and attend the House Economic Matters Committee public hearing on HB 1535 this coming Tuesday, March 30th at 1 pm in ANNAPOLIS!

This bill will prohibit the Public Service Commission (PSC) from accepting an application from a company that is not an electric company doing day-to-day business as an electric company – no paper LLCs and it will insure that the company have sufficient liability insurance for any eventuality.

PLEASE PLAN ON ATTENDING THIS HEARING IF YOU CAN.  Details as to location and room number will be sent over the weekend. Whether or not you can attend, we need to flood the legislators on this committee with emails and faxes thanking Sue Hecht for sponsoring this bill and asking all other legislators to support the bill.  In your letter to Sue Hecht please thank her for the letter she sent to the PSC asking them to delay its consideration of the PATH procedural issues until after the General Assembly completes it session.

You can go to the Maryland General Assembly site http://mlis.state.md.us/mgaweb/mail32.aspx and you can email legislators directly from there or see our attached list of committee members. A suggested form letter will be sent this weekend.

Douglas S. Kaplan


Sugarloaf Conservancy



Path to Nowhere

Sugarloaf Conservancy appeals to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to deny Potomac Edison’s application to construct the PATH transmission line.  The application should be denied as the applicant has acknowledged there will not be a critical need in 2014 as stated in their application.  The application is further flawed as a result of the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) accepting PATH’s motion to withdraw their application in that state.  Read the press release here and FNP editorial here.

For information, or to help, contact:  Douglas Kaplan, President, Sugarloaf Conservancy,  Doug.Kaplan@SugarloafConservancy.org,  (301) 874 –0584