Delaware Electric Cooperative announced seven new utility-scale solar projects during the next three years.
The nonprofit cooperative based in Greenwood will purchase power produced at facilities to be built in Kent and Sussex Counties.
The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and are part of efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Solar sites near Hartly in Kent County and Greenwood in Sussex County will go into operation this year.
Work is nearly complete on a large solar farm near Hartly that will power hundreds of Kent County homes. The renewable energy project is being built by Tangent Energy Solutions based in Kennett Square, PA and financed by Madison Energy Investments based in Vienna, VA.
Delaware Electric Cooperative will purchase the power produced at the site at a competitive cost and deliver it to member homes, farms, and businesses. The cost of solar power has dropped over the years making it competitive with other energy sources
Once completed in March, 10 acres of solar panels at the Tangent solar energy farm along Lockwood Chapel Road will be capable of producing 1.5 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough electricity to power 260 homes. The facility is being built in DEC’s service territory and power flow directly onto the co-op’s distribution system.
Construction will also begin this year on largerf 4.5-megawatt Heimlich Solar Facility that will power about 900 Sussex County homes, farms, and businesses.
The project is a partnership between Delaware Electric Cooperative and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. Old Dominion is owned by DEC and ten other not-for-profit electric cooperatives.
The 35-acre facility is being built along Mile Stretch Road just west of Greenwood. Once completed, the site will feature nearly 16,000 individual solar panels.
The project is being managed by EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions, a developer of solar and battery storage projects in North America. The site, which is expected to begin producing power in late 2022, is named after Delaware native Henry Heimlich, who invented the Heimlich Maneuver. The maneuver has saved lives of those choking on food.
Old Dominion also operates a large natural gas fired plant in northeastern Maryland that provides electricity to member co-ops.
Delaware Electric is also working with ODEC and EDF to purchase the energy that will be produced at the Broom Solar Facility to be built near Ocean View in Sussex County. The solar farm will produce enough energy to power hundreds of Delaware homes when completed in 2023.
Delaware Electric has also signed agreements with EDF to purchase power generated at four new solar facilities to be built near Clayton, Harrington, Felton and Milford. Once completed by 2024, the four solar projects will generate enough electricity to power thousands of additional DEC homes.
According to CEO Greg Starheim, “The construction of the new solar facilities will allow the co-op to continue to provide clean power to our members while also helping to keep our rates affordable. Solar power will play an important role in our energy mix as we work to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our impact on the environment.”
In addition to the new solar projects just announced by the Cooperative, DEC’s nearly 40-acre Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm near Georgetown has been providing members with renewable energy since 2012. Through energy efficiency programs, the Co-op has reduced its carbon footprint by 46 percent since 2005.
Delaware Electric Cooperative is a member-owned not-for-profit utility powering more than 108,000 homes, farms and businesses in Kent and Sussex Counties.
Further information is available at www.delaware.coop.