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Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Package - Fact Sheet
July 28, 2010
Governor Markell Signs Landmark Clean Energy Jobs Package
Laws Will Spur Quality Jobs, Create Robust Market for Renewable Energy while Protecting Ratepayers
(New Castle, DE) Joined by Delawareans working in clean energy jobs at a local producer of solar panels, Governor Jack A. Markell today signed into law four renewable energy bills that together make up the Clean Energy Jobs package, which were designed to put more people to work in expanding industries such as wind and solar power. The legislation puts protections in place for ratepayers while also protecting the environment by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and improving air quality.
"This was designed to put people to work in clean energy jobs that can help grow our economy now and support the health of our environment long-term," Markell said. "Delaware has a long history of innovation, and these bills make clear that our state intends to play an important role in the clean energy economy of the future. We can strengthen our economy, improve our environment and innovate at the same time, and are with these bills."
“More than 95 percent of Delaware’s electricity comes from fossil fuels with 70 percent from coal-burning power plants,” explained Secretary O’Mara. “These green energy bills will help the state transition at a faster rate to renewable energy. We can dramatically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in the next 15 years and move closer to the healthy environment and green economy we want in Delaware. The bills also provide an opportunity for all Delaware citizens to participate in buying clean power, using clean power and being a part of the clean technology transition.”
The clean energy bills will facilitate the potential installation of approximately 250 megawatts of new solar photovoltaic systems (enough to power approximately 62,000 homes) by 2025, resulting in the creation of hundreds of secure, quality jobs. These bills will also promote other sources of renewable energy, like offshore wind infrastructure or a large wind park off the coast of Delaware, which will create potentially thousands of jobs in manufacturing, metal fabricating, electrical services and marine trades.
Highlights of the legislation being signed:
The bill-signing ceremony took place at Solar Dock, a designer and manufacturer of solar electric systems, at their warehouse in New Castle. Solar Dock exemplifies the type of environmental and employment model the state hopes to replicate through the energy bill package.
- SB 1 for SB 119 Sponsored by Sen. Harris McDowell and Reps. Dennis E. Williams and John Kowalko: Extends and expands Delaware's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) so that 25 percent of Delaware's electricity must come from renewable energy sources by the year 2025; includes solar energy targets; and provides incentives for local labor and manufacture of renewable energy systems. For the first time, the Delaware Electric Cooperative and municipal electric companies will be included in the standard through the new statute or through their own plan meeting comparable results. This is significant since these entities provide about a third of Delaware’s electricity. The act also provides consumer protections by limiting any rate impacts.
- SB 266 Sponsored by Sen. Harris McDowell and Rep. Gerald Brady: Updates the Green Energy Fund law to address the large backlog of projects across the state currently awaiting incentive funds. Gives the DNREC secretary the ability to direct more of the Green Energy fund to clear the existing backlog and focuses on incentives that will maximize economic development benefits. It allows for a gradual transition from the over-reliance on the fund for financing renewable energy systems and balances the program’s resources with current and expected demands.
- SB 267 Sponsored by Sens. Harris McDowell and F. Gary Simpson and Reps. Dennis E. Williams and Michael Mulrooney: Strengthens Delaware's net metering law by increasing the amount of energy customers can sell back to their electric supply grid. Homes and businesses may sell back 110 percent of their aggregate consumption to the grid. Also, customers, such as a business campus or agricultural operations can aggregate several meters for multiple locations to determine how much power can be sold back through one meter. In this way, customers will be able to finance larger renewable energy installations to meet their needs. Finally, homeowner associations and similar groups of customers sharing a unique set of interests will be able to cooperatively finance and build community-scale renewable energy projects both on and off-site.
- SB 316 Sponsored by Sens. Karen Peterson, Bruce Ennis, Harris McDowell, David Sokola and Brian Bushweller and Rep. Dennis E. Williams. Makes it possible for property owners to install and use ground-mounted solar energy systems on land zoned residential where the lots are one-half acre or greater in size without being restricted by the use of covenants, restrictions, and conditions in deeds, contracts and other legal instruments which might seek to prohibit or unreasonably restrict such construction.