On July 28, Delaware Governor Markell signed a series of environmental and energy bills that are the components of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2010. Here are the highlights:
SB 267: 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 1 for SB 119: 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: 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 316. 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.
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.
Source: Governor’s Press Release