Renewable Energy Task Force


2015 Roster

Elizabeth Beckley Briggs Cunningham Samuel T. Shoge
Walter Bowie David Hill Edward Taylor
Janet Christensen-Lewis Robert Ingersoll Ellyn Vail
William Cooper Kim Kohl Terry Willis






Following the 2008 adoption of the Empower Maryland Act and the 2009 state initiative known as “Generating Clean Horizons,” the County Commissioners of Kent created and appointed members to the Renewable Energy Task Force (RETF) in March 2010. The former charge assigned to the RETF included the following:

  • Objectively evaluate the application of each type of renewable energy technology at the residential, commercial, and utility scale for their benefits to the county and potential effects on the community and the environment
  • Identify infrastructure requirements including those needed for transmission and the conversion from energy to electricity
  • Advise the County Commissioners on the applicability of each type of technology to Kent County and recommend potential alternative energy technology that may be applicable to reduce county building or other structures energy use
  • Propose appropriate policy changes and ordinance amendments
  • Review current technology incentives

The RETF presented findings in the form of a White Paper to the County Commissioners in November 2010. The task force members recognized the County’s vital resources in need of preservation noted in the Comprehensive Plan ranging from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries to the agricultural landscapes to the historic sites in the County. In addition, the RETF understood that the needs of its residents must also be considered. As it discussed each renewable energy system’s pros and cons, the task force looked to the economic sustainability for the County and its residents as the balancing point with preservation.

Generally, the task force supported the use of small scale (residential) systems and focused large scale (commercial industrial) systems with significant restrictions in appropriate commercial or industrial zoning districts. Where technology is fast moving or evolving, the task force recommended revisiting these technologies for appropriateness and compatibility. As a result, renewable energy systems meant for production of energy for onsite use was designated “small scale” and systems meant to produce energy for offsite use was designated “utility scale”.

The text amendments proposed by the RETF and ultimately adopted by the County Commissioners in August 2011 added both permitted use and special exception provisions for small scale wind energy systems and small scale solar systems. Utility scale solar system provisions were adopted in only commercial and industrial areas in the County (Crossroads Commercial, Commercial, Commercial Critical Area, Employment Center, and Industrial Districts).
As anticipated by the RETF in the 2010 White Paper and recently noted by the County Commissioners of Kent, it would now seem appropriate to reconvene the Task Force under an updated charge in 2015 as follows:

  • Revisit the 2010 studies and recommendations with special attention paid to utility scale systems,
  • Revisit renewable energy industry advancements,
  • Ensure appropriateness and compatibility of existing Ordinance provisions in light of industry advancements, and
  • Propose appropriate policy changes and ordinance amendments, if necessary.