Gov. Jack A. Markell, D-Del., has signed into law four renewable energy bills that constitute the Clean Energy Jobs package, which is designed to expand employment in renewable energy and put protections in place for ratepayers. The bills will facilitate the potential installation of approximately 250 MW of new solar photovoltaic systems by 2025, according to Markell's office.
Specifically, the legislation extends and expands Delaware's renewable portfolio standard so that 25% of Delaware's electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2025. The legislation also includes solar energy targets and provides incentives for local labor and manufacture of renewable energy systems. For the first time, Delaware Electric Cooperative and municipal electric companies – which provide a third of Delaware's electricity – will be included in the standard through the new statute or through their own plan, meeting comparable results.
Additional legislation updates the Green Energy Fund law to address the large backlog of projects across the state currently awaiting incentive funds, the governor's office adds. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control secretary will have increased ability to direct more of the Green Energy Fund to clear the existing backlog, while allowing for a gradual transition from the over-reliance on the fund for financing renewable energy systems and balancing the program's resources with current and expected demands.
In addition, the package strengthens Delaware's net-metering law by increasing the amount of energy customers can sell back to their electric supply grid to 110% of their aggregate consumption to the grid. Customers can also aggregate several meters for multiple locations to determine how much power can be sold back through one meter.
The legislation also allows 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 that might seek to prohibit or unreasonably restrict such construction, the governor's office adds.
SOURCE: Office Of Gov. Jack Markell