ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday new initiatives to further clean and renewable energy projects in the state.

The new push will specifically work toward advancing solar energy projects in Maryland on state properties and establishes a task force for development and siting, according to Gov. Hogan’s office.

He charged the task force with figuring this all out by the end of 2019, with final recommendations within the year.

It will also examine how the state can promote clean power while minimizing the impact that large solar and wind energy projects can have on rural communities and agriculture-focused areas in the state.

“In my most recent State of the State address, I pledged my strong support for clean and renewable energy solutions that are affordable, reliable, and produce jobs right here in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “That is exactly what these announcements will help us to achieve. These innovative initiatives will provide millions of dollars in benefits to Marylanders and lower energy and maintenance costs, all while creating clean energy and green jobs opportunities.”

The task force will include stakeholders from state agencies and representatives of Maryland’s agriculture community, local government and solar and wind energy sectors- chaired by former Washington County Commissioners President Greg Snook.

Snook currently serves on the boards of Hagerstown Community College, Meritus Medical Center and Maryland State Roads Commission.

The first two orders of business for the initiative include an assessment and inventory of state properties and how they could be utilized for solar energy and $4 million in grants to aid large public institutions.

These could range from community colleges, universities, deploying solar arrays on existing infrastructure including parking lots and rooftops- while encouraging state agencies to incorporate solar energy into any future construction, they said.

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