Some Major Companies, Institutions on Delmarva Tapping into Powe - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Some Major Companies, Institutions on Delmarva Tapping into Power of the Sun

Posted: Mar 22, 2019 03:01 PM
Perdue Farms' solar farm at the company's corporate headquarters in Salisbury, Md. (Photo:  Chopper 16) Perdue Farms' solar farm at the company's corporate headquarters in Salisbury, Md. (Photo: Chopper 16)
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SALISBURY, Md.- Drivers on US 50 east of Salisbury regularly pass what has become a regular sight: a 1.2-megawatt solar farm installed back in 2011 to provide power to Perdue Farms' corporate offices. At the same time, Perdue Farms installed a 1.8-megawatt solar farm at its Bridgeville, Del. location. 

Each of the solar farms was designed to handle a heavy workload.

"The approximate percentage of energy to the headquarters was 90 percent," said Steve Levitsky, Perdue Farms' vice president of sustainability. "So, the thought process was to cover 90 percent of the energy needed in the headquarters office and the same thing for Bridgeville."

Levitsky said the company has environmental sustainability goals for 2022 that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions companywide by 30 percent, which means its Salisbury and Bridgeville solar farms are a big help. But the company is exploring future solar sites as well, according to Levitsky. 

Salisbury University has its own goal of being climate-neutral by 2015, and its more recent solar project is taking a step in that direction. Three solar parking canopies were installed in a parking lot of West College Avenue in 2017. The lots quickly became a favorite spot for students, protecting cars from the sun and snow. The panels provide 785,000-kilowatt hours per year. 

"That particular amount provides enough that it can offset three of our residence halls' consumption over the course of a year," said Wayne Shelton, SU's director of campus sustainability. 

And there is yet another large-scale solar project on Delmarva that is just about completed. Located at the US 50 and Route 90 interchange just west of Berlin. It is a 10-megawatt solar farm that will produce more than 5.5-million kilowatt hours of electricity for the town of Ocean City. Mayor Rick Meehan said the resort's goal is to be a green community. 

""Once this is operational, it will reduce the energy that the town government uses by about 25 percent and in dollar figures, it will probably save us about $140,000 over what we are paying today," Meehan said. 

Officials with Perdue Farms, Salisbury University and the Town of Ocean City have all said they are exploring future solar projects for the near future. 

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