Delmarva Power/Exelon grant funds Renewable Energy Center at DSU

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Exelon and Delmarva Power Monday announced the opening of Delaware State University’s (DSU) Renewable Energy Education Center.

The center is made possible by a $720,000 Delmarva Renewable Energy Workforce Development grant provided by the two companies.

The grant is among the commitments Exelon made as part of its merger with Pepco Holdings in March of 2016. The $180,000 donation to launch the center is the first installment in a four-year commitment.

The center was made possible by a $720,000 Delmarva Renewable Energy Workforce Development grant provided by the two companies. The grant is among the commitments Exelon made as part of its merger with Pepco Holdings in March of 2016. The $180,000 donation to launch the center is the first installment in a four-year commitment.

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The center was made possible by a $720,000 Delmarva Renewable Energy Workforce Development grant provided by the two companies. The grant is among the commitments Exelon made as part of its merger with Pepco Holdings in 2016. The $180,000 donation to launch the center is the first installment in a four-year commitment.

The Renewable Energy Education Center will help increase access to clean energy and advance the state’s goal to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, according to a release, which added that “the center will work to establish the state’s baseline of renewable energy literacy and usage; improve the infrastructure and capacity of renewable energy education, research and extension; and offer certificate programs and credentialing services in renewable energy.”

“Exelon and Delmarva Power are committed to supporting innovative programs that help states achieve their renewable energy goals and support workforce development in the communities where we live and work,” said Dave Velazquez, Pepco Holdings president. “Programs like this will play a critical role in preparing our workforce for the clean-energy jobs of tomorrow.”

“This support from Exelon and Delmarva Power enables DSU to further diversify its research portfolio and enhance the work already being done by our faculty scientists and students in the energy field of study,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “The establishment of a Renewable Energy Education Center here on campus not only expands the university’s academic possibilities but also makes DSU an energy education resource and therefore a greater asset to the state of Delaware and beyond.”

The release went on to note that Exelon, Pepco Holdings and Delmarva Power are providing Delaware with a package of merger benefits worth more than $45 million, including residential customer bill credits, residential arrearage forgiveness, workforce development funding and energy efficiency program funding for low-income customers. In total, the combined companies are delivering a package of direct benefits worth more than $440 million across the Pepco Holdings territories, including Atlantic City Electric in New Jersey, Delmarva Power in Delaware and Maryland and Pepco in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The renwable energy program is not universally admired in Delaware. Critics that include the Caesar Rodney Institute, which claims the 25 percent mandate has killed jobs in the state through high utility costs. Some Republicans in the General Assembly have also emerged as critics.

Meanwhile, the cost of solar panels has dropped sharply and natural gas power has become competitive with coal generation. The staet is now down to one coal-fired generator at the Indian River plant in Sussex County.

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