GEORGETOWN, Del. -- Construction is now underway to dramatically expand Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm in Sussex County. Earlier this year, the Cooperative signed an agreement with Constellation, a leading retail energy provider, to nearly double the size of the 23-acre solar facility near Georgetown.
Constellation, an Exelon company, is currently building a 17-acre, 4.2 MW (DC) addition to the solar farm. The Co-op will purchase the clean energy produced at the site from the company for a stable, competitive price over the next 25 years.
According to DEC President and CEO Bill Andrew, “Our goal is to provide our members with the cleanest and most affordable power. This project will allow us to increase our portfolio of renewable energy sources without raising electric rates. It’s good for members and good for the environment.”
The 17-acres of new solar panels at the farm are expected to provide enough energy to power more than 400 homes. The combined 40-acres of solar panels located at the site are expected to produce enough energy to power nearly 1,000 homes. The project has created approximately 40 temporary jobs. The expanded array is expected to produce an estimated 5.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of more than 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 770 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA estimates.
“By teaming with the Delaware Electric Cooperative to introduce additional renewable supply to its members, we’re bringing another clean energy solution to municipal cooperative customers across the U.S.,” said Brendon Quinlivan, executive director, Distributed Energy Origination for Constellation. “We’re also helping to fulfill our commitment to develop five megawatts of solar generation in the State of Delaware as a result of the Exelon-Pepco Holdings merger in 2016.”
The Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm, named after a longtime DEC board member, became operational in 2013 and houses 16,000 solar panels. The expanded portion of the facility is expected to begin producing power for Co-op members by the end of the year, pending any weather-related delays.
Delaware Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, not-for-profit utility powering more than 100,000 homes, farms and businesses in Kent and Sussex counties. For more information about the Co-op, please visit www.delaware.coop.
Constellation’s solar portfolio includes more than 400 MW of generation across more than 600 sites throughout the U.S.