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Wilmington ranked as solar leader in the region

The First State’s largest city has more solar panels per capita than any other major city in the region according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center.

Wilmington ranks fifth for the amount of solar energy devices installed in the city per person in the US, according to Bret Fanshaw, the Solar Coordinator from Environment America - the organization behind the report. That puts Wilmington right behind San Diego and just ahead of New Orleans.

Fanshaw says Wilmington’s strong position on solar is due to the fact that city and state leaders have long supported the move toward renewable energy.

"The state has a renewable energy goal of 25 percent by 2025. With a 3.5% solar target. And so that causes extra incentives for solar projects to go up," said Fanshaw.

He added that Mayor Dennis Williams has been very supportive of solar energy. Fanshaw says support from officials for renewable energy is something Wilmington has in common with other top solar cities, like Honolulu and San Jose.

Concerns over global warming and the cost-saving possibilities of solar have made it an attractive energy source to many major cities.

Nearly 200 solar energy systems have been installed on businesses, schools, homes and government buildings in the city - most notably on the Porter Water Filtration Plant and the William J. Turner Municipal Complex.

Fanshaw says more solar power is a good thing for any city.

"Solar is virtually limitless, pollution free and has zero fuel cost."