Wind, solar power remain in spotlight


Hello everyone,

I am often surprised when I look at the number of page views on routine stories about solar and wind power.

Such was the case when the rather routine transaction of the Dover Sun Park changing hands was announced. Sun Park is an oldtimer by solar standards having gone online in 2011.

Other stories regarding new projects have generated a similar level of interest and one would guess support for alternative sources.

(Photo of the state’s lone commercial wind generator at the University of Delaware’s Sharp campus in Lewes)

Delaware has set a goal of getting a quarter of its electricity from renewables by 2025.

Currently, the goal is to generate three and a half percent of the state’s electricity from solar power.

The state is well on its way to the goal with the figure attwo and half percent, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

A sizable amount of power is now coming from rooftop solar at homes and small businesses as well as utility-scale developments.

So how will Delaware get to that 25 percent benchmark? The state already obtains much of its power from out of state and will have to rely on the offshore and onshore wind, as well as solar from out of state.

The one offshore project in the works near Delaware, Skipjack, will sell electricity to Maryland.

A pioneering windpower proposal, Bluewater, off the coast at Rehoboth is (pardon the pun) remains dead in the water.

Delaware was first out of the gate but faced plunging demand for power during and after the recession. The economics of wind power have also improved as turbines on skyscraper-high towers have driven down generation costs.

The X factor here is the election. President Trump does not like wind power and solar, although East Coast states are not paying a lot of attention as projects move forward.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to push harder for wind power and solar in pushing for actions to battle climate change.

Meanwhile, the federal review process remains on the slow side for reasons that range from the number of projects to what some see as built-in hostility toward wind power.

Not to be discounted is opposition from some coastal residents who fear tourism job losses and obstructed views.

The goal of all but hard-core opponents is to move wind generators another 10 miles offshore. That might wreck the bottom lines of projects now in the works.

Dominion Power is moving forward with an ambitious project off Virginia Beach that is near the 30-mile mark

Delaware will be limited in its ability to produce alternative energy by its small size unless a version of Bluewater is somehow revived.

Enjoy the rest of this sunny day that will be good for your solar roof panels. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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