Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creating Clean Energy Jobs in Delaware

Jack Markell yesterday presented a new proposal to boost and extend the renewable portfolio standard and promote the development of green energy jobs in Delaware. Markell went to the Motech Americas solar panel plant in Newark to announce the Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Act. The proposal would extend and expand the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 30 percent by 2029 and for the first time include the Delaware Electric Coop and the municipal energy providers. The RPS would include requirements for solar and locally generated energy. Markell estimates that the RPS would prompt the development of 300 megawatts (MW) of solar power in Delaware.
The year 2029 seems a long way off, but the extended RPS will make it easier to finance solar projects today. The renewable energy credit (REC) market in Delaware is small and thinly traded. DNREC secretary Collin O'Mara pointed out that solar power projects in the works in Dover (10 MW) and the University of Delaware (6 MW) will swamp the REC market for the foreseeable future, making it difficult to finance further projects.
As Aaron Nathans reports in the News Journal, Motech bought the GE solar power plant, and its inventory of solar panels last winter after it had been announced that the plant would close for good. Motech managers said they plan to ramp up hiring this year.
More on the announcement can be found at the governor's website, including a one page fact sheet. The legislation will likely be introduced later this month.
(Photo: Bob Herbert, News Journal)

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