My view: AstraZeneca back in the solar game


My take: AstraZeneca is back in the solar game

(2014 file photo  of Astra Zeneca solar installation)

Back when AstraZeneca was rockin’ and rollin’ with thousands of employees, the Anglo-Swedish company installed solar panels at its corporate campus near Wilmington.

Then came the loss of patent protection for blockbuster drugs that shrunk revenues by billions of dollars.

It led to a painful downsizing in Delaware and a  short-lived victory in the state’s all-out effort to convince the company to consolidate separate Astra and Zeneca.
corporate sites on the Route 202 corridor Talleyville. The effort included improvements to roads in the area.


The former  AstraZeneca site is now known as Avenue North, a mixed-use development with the pharma company occupying a portion of the tract

In recent years AstraZeneca employment has reportedly remained steady at around 1,500 as the company made steady progress in rebuilding its pharmaceutical pipeline.
But that did not mean the company was out of the solar game.

Recently, site work got underway at the entrance to its logistics-manufacturing site south of Newark. The site survived the cutbacks, with the company continuing to invest in areas such as robotics.

An AZ spokesperson said the work at the entrance is in preparation for the installation of two solar fields, with the project to be completed in about a year.

Some of us will not be happy with the loss of an expanse of open space that brightened the tattered business park-strip center landscape along Old Baltimore Pike. 

Ideal sites for solar are Delaware’s numerous brownfields that are often unsuitable for other uses. The pharma company did not have that option at its Newark-area complex.

AZ is not alone in adding solar. Many, if not most, multinational companies are committed to getting all of their electricity from renewables in the next decade or two. Amazon has emerged as a major player in Delaware as it looks to reach its green energy goal.

Expect to see more installations due to green energy mandates, with the costs of solar power holding steady as natural gas-fired power plants begin to confront rising energy prices. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.