Expansion nearly doubles size of DEC’s Sussex County solar farm

Expansion of the Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm near Georgetown is complete. Constellation built the addition to the Delaware Electric Cooperative solar farm. Submitted photo

GEORGETOWN — Delaware Electric Cooperative and Constellation have completed work to nearly double the size of the cooperative’s Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm in Sussex County.

Seventeen acres of new solar panels began producing clean, renewable energy for DEC members in early January.

Constellation, an Exelon company, built the 4.2 MW addition to the DEC’s Sussex County solar farm, located at the intersection of East Trap Pond road and Substation Road in Sussex County just outside of Georgetown.

More than 10,000 solar panels were installed over the past several months — the expanded portion of the solar farm is expected to produce enough energy to power 400 cooperative homes.

The co-op has agreed to purchase the energy produced, as well as the renewable energy credits, at the site for a stable, competitive price over the next 25 years.

“We partnered with Constellation because they have a proven track record of building state-of-the-art solar generating stations across the country,” said DEC President and CEO Bill Andrew. “The addition to our solar farm will produce clean energy for cooperative members for decades to come. We are committed to providing our members with affordable power while also reducing our carbon footprint.”

The Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm became operational in 2013 and consisted of 23 acres of solar panels. The combined 40 acres of solar panels are now producing enough energy to power nearly 1,000 homes.

By offsetting traditional fossil fuel electric generation, the expanded solar array is expected to prevent the release of 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. That’s the equivalent emissions avoided from switching more than 135,000 incandescent lamps to LEDs or removing more than 750 cars from the road in one year, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates.

“We’re pleased to help Delaware Electric Cooperative implement this clean energy solution and increase renewable supply for its members,” said Brendon Quinlivan, Constellation’s executive director for Distributed Energy Origination. “We commend DEC on proactively making a positive environmental impact by supporting the adoption of renewable energy.”

DEC will purchase the clean energy produced at the site from the company for a stable, competitive price over the next 25 years. This will have no impact on member rates, said Delaware Electric Cooperative spokesman Jeremy Tucker.

The solar farm is named after Bruce A. Henry, a longtime DEC board member.

Delaware Electric Cooperative expects to continue to expand its portfolio of renewable energy, with additional solar projects possible in 2020.

Delaware Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric utility powering more than 100,000 homes, farms and businesses in Kent and Sussex counties. For more information, visit www.delaware.coop or www.beatthepeak.coop or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
Constellation’s solar portfolio includes more than 425 MW of generation in operation or under construction 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.