Delaware Electric Co-op solar farm expanding

GEORGETOWN — Additional power generated by the sun’s energy through a collaborative solar farm expansion is expected to begin reaching Delaware Electric Cooperative customers before New Year 2020’s arrival.

Construction and solar panel installation is underway to dramatically expand Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm, located at the intersection of East Trap Pond Road and Substation Road in central Sussex County.

Earlier this year, the Delaware Electric Cooperative, a member-owned, not-for-profit utility powering more than 100,000 homes, farms and businesses in Kent and Sussex counties, signed an agreement with Constellation, a leading retail energy provider, to nearly double the size of the 23-acre solar facility just outside of Georgetown.

Constellation, an Exelon company, is currently building a 17-acre, 4.2 MW (DC) addition to the solar farm.
The cooperative will purchase the clean energy produced at the site from the company for a stable, competitive price over the next 25 years.

“Our goal is to provide our members with the cleanest and most affordable power,” said DEC President/CEO Bill Andrew. “This project will allow us to increase our portfolio of renewable energy sources without raising electric rates. It’s good for members and good for the environment.”

The first panels in the huge expansion of Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm near Georgetown were installed last week.

The 17 acres of new solar panels at the farm are expected to provide enough energy to power more than 400 homes. Combined, the 40-acres of solar panels located at the site are expected to produce enough energy to power nearly 1,000 homes.
Installation of solar panels began last week.

“The additional panels are expected to begin producing energy by the end of this year,” said DEC spokesman Jeremy Tucker.
The project has created approximately 40 temporary jobs. The expanded array is expected to produce an estimated 5.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year.

Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of more than 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 770 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA estimates.

“By teaming with the Delaware Electric Cooperative to introduce additional renewable supply to its members, we’re bringing another clean energy solution to municipal cooperative customers across the U.S.,” said Brendon Quinlivan, Distributed Energy Origination for Constellation’s executive director. “We’re also helping to fulfill our commitment to develop five megawatts of solar generation in the State of Delaware as a result of the Exelon-Pepco Holdings merger in 2016.”

The power purchase agreement signed with Constellation does not DEC allow to disclose the price the Co-op will be paying for power, Mr. Tucker said.

“The Co-op will be purchasing the energy produced from the additional panels at a competitive rate over the next 25 years,” said Mr. Tucker. “This will have no impact on member rates.

The Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm, named after a longtime DEC board member, became operational in 2013 and houses 16,000 solar panels. The expanded portion of the facility is expected to begin producing power for co-op members by the end of the year, pending any weather-related delays.

For more information about DEC, visit www.delaware.coop.
Constellation’s solar portfolio includes more than 400 MW of generation across more than 600 sites throughout the U.S.
For more information on Constellation’s products and services, visit www.constellation.com or follow on Twitter @ConstellationEG.

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