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Del Tech unveils last of nine solar arrays

James Morrison
Delaware Public Media
Carport solar panels at Del Tech Terry Campus in Dover

Delaware Technical Community College is continuing to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.


The four-campus community college unveiled the last of nine solar installations Tuesday at its Terry Campus in Dover.


The university had set a goal in 2010 to reduce its carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020. With the completion of this project, the school has now reduced those emissions by 25 percent three years early.


"Maybe your goal wasn't tough enough," Gov. John Carney quipped at the unveiling ceremony.


The governor called Del Tech's leadership in solar a shining example of what the state should be doing to curb its dependence on fossil fuels.


The nine-part solar installation is one of the top ten solar projects at a community college in the U.S., and it's one of the top five projects in Delaware. The second phase of Del Tech's installations is actually the leading solar project in the state.  


The rooftop, carport and ground-mounted solar arrays are expected to provide 12 percent of the university’s energy needs each year - a total of more than 2.86 million kWh.


That’s estimated to offset the carbon emissions of more than 2.2 million pounds of coal annually.


The carport installation in the parking lot of the Terry Campus will produce 448 kWh alone.  


Del Tech President Mark Brainard said the project is meant to highlight the school’s sustainable energy management program that trains students for careers in the solar and wind energy fields.


“We're literally practicing what we teach,” he said. "We're getting the students from local high schools and unemployed workers into our programs so they can go out and start installing, repairing and assessing [solar panel] systems.”


Del Tech has hands-on energy-training labs at its campuses in Dover, Stanton and Georgetown.


The project is expected to pay for itself with energy savings in 20 years.

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