Construction is now underway to expandDelaware Electric Cooperative’s Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm in Sussex County. Earlier this year, the Cooperative signed an agreement with Constellation, a leading retail energy provider, to nearly double the size of the 23-acre solar facility near Georgetown.
Constellation, an Exelon company, is currently building a 17-acre, 4.2 MW (DC) addition to the solar farm. The co-op will purchase the electricity produced at the site. The price of power produced from solar farms has steadily dropped, especially in large scale installations like the Henry site.
DEC CEO Bill Andrew said, “Our goal is to provide our members with the cleanest and most affordable power. 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 17 acres of new solar panels at the farm are expected to provide enough energy to power more than 400 homes.
The combined 40-acres of solar panels located at the site are expected to produce enough energy to power nearly 1,000 homes.
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.
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.
Delaware Electric Cooperative is a member-owned utility serving more than 100,000 homes, farms and businesses in Kent and Sussex counties.
Constellation’s solar portfolio includes more than 400 MW of generation across more than 600 sites throughout the U.S.