Contact: Joanna Wilson, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Town of Ocean View dedicates new solar carport
with Senator Carper and DNREC Secretary O’Mara
Solar array expected to generate 80 percent of municipal building’s energy
OCEAN VIEW (Oct. 23, 2012) – This morning U.S. Senator Tom Carper joined DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, Ocean View Mayor Gordon Wood and other town officials and residents to dedicate the town’s new 68.4 kilowatt carport-mounted solar array that covers a portion of the Ocean View municipal building’s parking lot.
The 260-foot-long, 24-space solar carport and an energy-efficient lighting upgrade to the Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building were made possible by two federal grants for $458,000 and $30,000, respectively. The grants were awarded through Delaware’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, administered by DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate. The federal grant funding came to Delaware under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Thanks to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which I was proud to support in the Senate, 41 communities in Delaware, including Ocean View, were able to implement energy saving projects,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). “Promoting manufacturing in clean energy technologies can pay triple dividends: it can stimulate our economy and create jobs, save us money on energy costs, and reduce harmful pollution, just as this project in Ocean View has done.”
“This solar carport is a win-win-win – it’s good for the environment, it saves the town of Ocean View approximately $12,000 a year in energy costs and it supports our local economy by using solar panels made right here in Delaware,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee. “This project is a terrific investment because the town will continue to reap its many benefits for many years to come.”
The project features Motech solar panels manufactured in Delaware, locally based engineering by Remington & Vernick Engineers, construction by John W. Tieder, Inc., of Cambridge, Md., on a prefabricated carport structure manufactured by Schletter, Inc. The array’s benefits include a strongly positive environmental impact, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 61.4 metric tons – equal to taking 12 cars off the road for a year or planting nearly 1,500 trees.
“Ocean View is one of more than 40 Delaware towns throughout the state to benefit from EECBG grant funding, and this solar carport is one of 15 solar installations now providing clean energy for these municipalities,” said Secretary O’Mara. “By generating their own clean energy from Delaware-made solar panels and adopting energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems, these towns are reducing emissions, saving money and putting Delawareans back to work. It’s a winning proposition all around.”
The new solar array is expected to produce more than 81,000 kilowatts of electricity, enough to handle about 80 percent of the 16,000-square-foot municipal building’s annual power consumption. Saving on energy costs will benefit the small community of Ocean View, population about 1,882.
“This solar carport is a great asset for Ocean View, with minimal impact on our valuable ground space while providing shade and shelter for our town vehicles as well as visitors to our municipal building. It’s good for the environment, and it will save us money that we can use in other ways to benefit our residents,” said Mayor Wood. “Today, we’d like to thank our federal representatives, DNREC and everyone who worked on the project, from the town staff to the contractors and engineers.”
Ocean View is one of 41 Delaware municipalities statewide that shared $5.46 million in federal grant funding through the EECBG program, receiving grants ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. EECBG grant projects statewide included heating and cooling efficiency upgrades, energy efficient lighting retrofits, appliance replacements, window upgrades, adding insulation and solar energy installations for municipal buildings, all of which help to reduce energy consumption and lower energy bills. These projects also provided job opportunities for local HVAC, general and specialty contractors.
Each state, including Delaware, was awarded a portion of $3.2 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and through the U.S. Department of Energy to be divided in the form of grants among its municipalities to reduce fossil fuel energy use and lower emissions by generating a portion of their own energy needs with renewable energy. The DNREC Division of Energy and Climate worked with municipal governments throughout the state to distribute Delaware’s share through the EECBG program.
Vol. 42, No. 413