Smyrna Announces Construction of Solar Generation Facility - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Smyrna Announces Construction of Solar Generation Facility

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SMYRNA, Del. - By summer’s end, a vacant, grassy lot in Smyrna will begin its conversion into a 1.5-megawatt solar facility, town officials announced today.

Construction on the solar generation project will occur at the end of Artisan Drive, adjacent to the Beasley Power Station.

The facility will be managed by the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC), a public power joint action agency and wholesale electric utility established in 1979 to provide power supply and related services to the nine municipally-owned distribution utilities in the State of Delaware.

DEMEC Energy Services Manager Scott Lynch says the town first approached DEMEC with the idea a year or two ago; putting it into action was simply a matter of finding a plan that worked.

“Being able to produce solar power locally in Smyrna may ultimately reduce the town’s internal costs of supplying power to our utility customers,” Smyrna Town Manager Dave Hugg said. “We may no longer have to pay as much of the required capacity, transmission, and uplift fees which we currently pay when we take energy from the grid.”

In other words, the project should offset the town’s need to look elsewhere for a proportion of its energy.

Lynch adds that solar power is a “peak-shaving tool,” meaning it keeps the cost of electricity down by reducing how much is used between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m.

He is hopeful the project will be completed by the end of the year, although town officials publicized an early 2015 completion date.

The new facility will reduce town staff maintenance costs and generate a modest rental income for the town, town officials said in a press release today. Every effort will be made to hire Delaware-based firms to construct the facility.

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