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Community Solar Program set to ramp up in Delaware

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Delmarva Power is taking the first steps to giving customers the opportunity to purchase solar energy credits.

It’s due in part to legislation passed last year to help make that option more available.

SB 2 was passed last June and Gov. Carney signed it into law in September.

The law removes barriers that kept underserved communities from participating in Delaware’s community solar program and requiring at least 15-percent of its customers be low-income.

Laurel Passera is the senior director of policy and regulatory affairs for the Coalition for Community Solar Access.

“So many people across the state do not own their own roof, or cannot install solar on their property for a number of reasons - such as a shaded roof or the inability to host solar for some reason," Passera said. "So community solar is a great way for people who cannot host solar on site, to participate in clean energy.” 

Passera says Delmarva Power customers can link to a project that is off-site - typically located on underutilized land like brownfields and landfills and the generation from that solar facility will translate to bill credits applied to their electric bills, “Typically, contracts are structured in different ways, but it’s typically free to sign up and you will pay a monthly fee. And the fee will translate to about a 10- to 20% savings on your electricity bill.” 

Delaware’s Public Service Commission begins accepting applications from community solar project developers to create such projects April 11.

As applications are processed and approved, customers will receive information in their monthly bills about how to sign up for credits once projects are operating.

Delaware Solar Energy Coalition president Dale Davis is the president says he expects one or two projects to be up and running by the end of this year. But he adds it to be mid-year in 2023, before most begin operation.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.
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