Featured Programs

Solar Leasing

Workshop Helps Landowners Understand Impacts of Solar Leasing

Landowners learned about the potential benefits and pitfalls of leasing their land for solar installations at a Solar & Landowners Workshop held January 23, 2023 at Garrett College. Many companies view Garrett County as a prime location for community-and utility-sized solar installations, ranging from 10 to 1,000 acres. Landowners may not know the best way to negotiate their lease and work with the company to ensure they maintain their desired level of control over their land. The University of Maryland Extension and Garrett County Government hosted a free Solar & Landowners Workshop to help landowners navigate this new industry. Representatives from the UME Ag Law Center, UME Energy Programs, and even solar companies were on hand to discuss best practices in leasing, what to expect from a solar project, and how to ensure landowners retain the level of control they want. 

Landowners and Solar in Garrett County
Length: 2:26:13
Date: January 23, 2023
Solar in Garrett County - Some Context
Cheryl DeBerry (Energy Manager, Garrett County)

Considering Solar Installation?
Dr. Drew Schiavone, PhD (Energy Specialist, UMD)

Solar Leasing and Solar Trends
Paul Goeringer (Extension Legal Specialist, UMD)
Elizabeth Thilmany (Faculty Specialist, UMD)

Agri-Volts & Other Options
Becky Rush (Project Manager, Smart Energy Investments)


Solar Webinar Banner August 2022

Are you interested in using solar to power your farm? Maybe you’d like to lease your land for a solar project?  Or perhaps, you’d like to know more about how solar works and what opportunities are available for solar energy. Whatever the case may be, you'll want to join this free webinar addressing the opportunities and challenges for solar electricity. See how other farms and businesses across the state are considering solar to offset their energy costs using an affordable and sustainable energy resource.

Workshops (2022)

Solar Workshop Header Solar Workshop Locations on Maryland Map Fall 2022

Are you interested in using solar to power your home, farm, or business?

If so, you'll want to join one of the University of Maryland’s upcoming Solar Workshops to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with solar energy. Each workshop will cover important topics that will help you successfully, and sustainably, implement a solar electric system, including discussions of:

  • How solar energy works and what role it plays
  • How solar impacts you as a homeowner or landowner
  • How to finance and facilitate a solar project

March 23, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
Garrett College CTTC Bldg
116 Industrial Park Drive
Accident, MD 21520

March 30, 2022

(10:30 am - 12:30 pm)
Western Maryland REC
18330 Keedysville Road
Keedysville, MD 21756

April 6, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
Charles County Extension
9501 Crain Highway #1
Bel Alton, MD 20611
(Bel Alton)

April 13, 2022

(3:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
Wicomico County Extension
28647 Old Quantico Rd
Salisbury, MD 21801

April 20, 2022

(10:00 am - 12:00 pm)
4H Youth Park: Williams Bldg
8230 Detour Road
Denton, MD 21629

April 28, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
Allegany College of MD
12401 Willowbrook Road
Cumberland, MD 21502

September 12, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
Serenity Farm
6932 Serenity Farm Road

Benedict, MD, 20612

September 13, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
American Chestnut Land Trust
676 Double Oak Road

Prince Frederick, MD, 20678

October 3, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
Annapolis Friends Meetinghouse
351 Dubois Road

Annapolis, MD, 21401

October 5, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
Baltimore County Ag Center
1114 Shawan Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030

December 7, 2022

(5:30 pm - 7:30 pm)
St. Mary's County Extension Office
26737 Radio Station Way
Leonardtown, MD 20650


SPRING 2022 Flyer (PDF)

Solar Curriculum


Maryland's Solar Market
This introductory module of the Farm Solar program explores the various forms of energy that are available for our use and how solar power fits into the overall mix. Consideration is given to solar technology, research, and policy developments that support new and continued opportunities for on-farm solar in Maryland. Through the course of this module, you will gain a better understanding of the historical development of photovoltaics, the current trends within the photovoltaic sector, and future forecasts for the solar market within Maryland.

Maryland's Solar Market
Length: 55:14
Date: September 30, 2020
Dr. Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
Maryland's Energy Resources
Maryland's Solar Industry
Farm Solar Applications


Photovoltaic (PV) Basics
Explore solar photovoltaics and system components.

Solar PV Basics
Length: 55:47
Date: October 7, 2020
Dr. Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
Electricity and circuits
Technology and components
Performance and efficiency


Planning & Design
Assess energy needs and potential system production.

Planning & Design
Length: 1:02:50
Date: October 14, 2020
Dr. Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
Determine your energy use
Site assessment
Calculating system size


Regulations & Zoning
Explore solar regulations, policies and zoning.

Regulations & Zoning
Length: 47:02
Date: October 21, 2020
Paul Goeringer & Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources


Installation & Maintenance
Explore installation and maintenance operations.

Installation & Maintenance
Length: 1:00:29
Date: October 28, 2020
Dr. Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
Prioritize energy efficiency
Installation considerations
Operation & maintenance


Financial Options
Explore costs and incentives for solar financing.

Financial Options
Length: 57:08
Date: November 4, 2020
Dr. Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
Production and costs
Financing and incentives
Metrics and models


Community Solar
Explore community solar and solar co-ops in Maryland.

Community Solar
Length: 57:38
Date: November 11, 2020
Dr. Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
What is shared solar?
Where is it available?
What are the next steps?


Utility-Scale Leasing
Explore legal and economic of solar farm leasing.

Utility-Scale Leasing
Length: 51:05
Date: November 18, 2020
Paul Goeringer & Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
Land Use
Legal Concerns


Battery Backup
Learn how to integrate battery storage options with solar.

Solar Battery Storage
Length: 58:32
Date: December 2, 2020
Dr. Drew Schiavone
Download Slide Deck (pdf)
Additional Resources
Battery Basics
Battery Bank Design
Charge Controllers

Training Resources

  • Solar Panel Icon

    Solar Panel

    Assess solar panel output for optimal performance

  • Pencil Ruler Icon

    Solar Design

    Load and site assessments for system sizing

  • Wire Icon

    Solar Wiring

    Select, assemble and install solar PV wiring and OCPDs

  • Solar Array Icon

    Solar Array

    Connecting panels in series and parallel to for a solar array

  • Battery Icon

    Battery Backup

    Design and install battery backup and charge controllers

  • DC to AC Inverter Icon

    Solar Inverter

    Select, size, and install a DC-to-AC inverter

  • Energy Solar-Clips Grounding Icon


    Ensure safe and effective solar grounding