New Castle County to run several buildings on renewables
New Castle County government took a step to reduce the contribution its facilities make to climate change.
The County announced last week it incorporated Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) into its electricity contracts for 18 facilities over the next three years.
“Our goal is to reduce the carbon footprint associated with our energy use because it’s the right thing to do for future generations,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in a statement.
The credits represent the renewable aspect of electricity generated by wind energy facilities in other places. The 18 County buildings—which officials say use more than 70 percent of the county government’s total electricity budget—will continue to take power from the local grid.
Paul Frese, a division manager with the County’s Department of Public Works, says the contracts will save the County close to $80,000 a year, even with the renewable credits.
“In 2019 I believe, rates were so low to beat our current term … so we had the flexibility then to purchase these RECs and still have a realized savings,” Frese said.
The contracts expire in June 2024, but Frese says he expects the County to continue or expand the program after that point.
This spring the legislature extended the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard— which sets requirements for the amount of renewable electricity Delmarva Power must source—to 40% by 2035.
Low-lying Delaware is already experiencing the effects of climate change, including more than a foot of sea level rise in the last century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said the world needs to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change.