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Public libraries in Delaware can apply to switch to solar energy

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

Energize Delaware is giving grants to public libraries in the state so they can go solar.

Energize Delaware is launching the new program so libraries can switch to solar and cut utility costs.

Libraries will also be able to retain ownership of their solar renewable energy credits, and use the savings for their services.

The program has allotted $3 million for this fiscal year, and the hope is to spend that money prior to July 1.

If that happens and the plan is successful, with enough libraries applying, Energize Delaware could look to add more money after July 1 for libraries to switch to solar.

"It's 100% grants - in other words we're not requiring a match of any sort. The other beauty of this is that it picks up the cost of any of the expenses for installing a solar system,” said Tony DePrima, Executive Director of Energize Delaware. “So that would include expenses related to studying it, feasibility studies, if you have to upgrade electric, all the other costs of actually installing it and buying the panels, and any upgrades."

DePrima says this program has many benefits.

"It's a way of reducing operating expenses, but we have lots of libraries that are equally concerned about reducing their impact on the environment and reducing their impact on carbon. So this has a double benefit, and I'm sure some libraries will use it as teaching tools, too," said DePrima.

Libraries can download a grant application on Energize Delaware’s website.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.