Newark electric customers get a 100% renewable option

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The Newark City Council has adopted an ordinance that will allow customers to pay a few dollars a month to get 100 percent of their electricity from nonfossil fuel sources.

Existing customers can request the option, and new customers will be enrolled unless they decide to opt-out. The Newark Post reported the fee would add $5 to $8 a month to a consumer’s electric bill.

The all-renewable option has been available to Delmarva Power customers who have the ability to choose their electrical suppliers under utility deregulation. Some alternate suppliers offer 100 percent renewable power.

Municipal utilities in the state do not offer an alternate supplier option but instead do their own wholesale purchasing through the Delaware Municipal Electric Corp. 

The city is ramping up its solar power production by using a nearly $10 million loan that will also finance energy-saving improvements at the Municipal Building. (See earlier story below).

This $9.7 million Newark project will use energy savings to pay off low-interest loan

The potential for generating alternative energy sources in Delaware is limited due to its small size.

The offshore wind option has not resurfaced after the Bluewater Wind project off Rehoboth Beach fell victim to a previous recession that left surplus generating capacity.

The Skipjack offshore wind project, now in the works, will be located off the coast of Fenwick Island and Ocean City  However, the electricity generated from the project will be credited to Maryland.

Skipjack has run into opposition from the mayor of Ocean City and others due to concerns that it will affect the tourism industry.

The push for producing more renewable energy is expected to intensify under President Joe Biden. Biden, unlike his predecessor, has made climate change a priority. 

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