Solar future looks bright in Smyrna

Front row, from left, are Town of Smyrna Utility Committee Member Conrad Hebert; CDCC member Danielle Hufford; Rep. Trey Paradee; Sen. Harris McDowell; Patrick McCullar, president and CEO, DEMEC; Rep. Bill Carson; Honorary Mayor Dee McCauley (Diamond State Pest Control); and CDCC President Judy Diogo. (Submitted photo)

SMYRNA – The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce was on site for a ribbon-cutting at the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation Inc. Smyrna location on July 10. The event marked the opening of its newest 1.5-megawatt community solar generation facility.

DEMEC appreciates the opportunity to be centrally located with its new facility in Smyrna, and to provide educational outreach, training seminars, customer outreach opportunities, event sponsorships and other assistance to its members. The expected output for the Smyrna Solar facility’s first year in operation totals nearly 1.8 million kWh. That’s enough to power 158 homes for an entire year.

“The more we build, the better off we are and the better off our descendants are,” remarked Patrick E. McCullar, president and CEO, DEMEC.

DEMEC is a public corporation constituted as a Joint Action Agency and a wholesale electric utility. DEMEC represents nine municipal electric distribution utilities located in Delaware: Clayton, Dover, Lewes, Middletown, Milford, Newark, New Castle, Seaford, and Smyrna. The ultimate mission is to advance the principles of public power community ownership and provide competitive, reliable energy supply and services to its member’s stakeholders and customers. Renewable energy, such as wind and solar, make up nearly 15 percent of DEMEC’s total power supply, equaling nearly 95 MW of sustainable energy.

In addition to power supply, DEMEC provides legal and technical consulting services to its members, as well as representation in the federal and regional arenas regarding electric industry regulation and operation. DEMEC provides its members with the benefits of joint and combined buying power. DEMEC also assists member utilities in training programs, project development, customer retention, economic development, customer education, capital finance, system improvements and technical information sharing efforts for improved operating efficiency in their individual systems.

The creation of DEMEC was made possible by an act of the Delaware General Assembly on June 6, 1978, and the entity was incorporated on July 12, 1979. DEMEC and its members have over 26MW of solar generation contracted within the state of Delaware. This facility is located on 14 acres of land and has over 4,400 solar panels.

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