Community solar legislation a step in the right direction

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Good morning,

Recently signed legislation that clears barriers to community solar systems is a step in the right direction, given Delaware’s limited options for home-grown renewable energy.

In many cases, installing solar panels on a roof or elsewhere on the property doesn’t make sense for financial or other reasons.

Businesses and homeowners have a number of options in making that determination. While green energy has its share of online hucksters,  plenty of reputable companies can help with the process.

Moreover,  some of us want to be able to purchase solar power, even if the price is higher.

Customers can buy renewable power from alternate suppliers under the state’s deregulated electricity system from Delmarva Power (not municipal or cooperative systems).

Newark is seeing success with a renewable energy program that will add more solar energy capacity in the city in return for a charge for new customers and the option for existing customers to pay extra.

Community solar adds another tool by making it easier for more extensive and more efficient arrays to be built, with participants sharing in the benefits. A variety of business or cooperative models can be used.

Delaware is  no slouch when it comes to solar, based on the 2021 report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SCIA)

Despite lacking the sunny days one sees out west, Delaware ranks 39th in solar generation among the 50 states. It generates 4.32% of its electricity from the sun, according to the association report.  Ecowatch ranks the state 37th ahead of more heavily populated states like coal-producing  West Virginia and Kentucky.

Still,  solar generation amounts to less than half of the generation of the state’s last coal-fired power plant near Millsboro. The clock is now ticking on a plant that has become less competitive with natural gas.

According to SCIA, estimates indicate that the solar power generation percentage will more than double in the next five years.

That still adds up to only a tenth of the state’s power, but when combined with energy efficiency programs will make a difference.

Enjoy what is shaping up to be a lovely weekend. This newsletter returns on Monday. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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