Tag: Senate Bill 119
Standard Solar, Inc., announced today that it will install solar power at the University of Delaware in partnership with Perpetual Energy Solutions LLC. The system will be installed on three buildings located on the main campus of the University of Delaware in Newark totaling 2000 panels and 850 kilowatts. This will be the first joint project between the two companies since the announcement of their partnership in June 2010.
The solar array planned for one of the installations, atop the Delaware Field House, will be the largest rooftop installation in the state of Delaware.
The University of Delaware has long been a proponent of solar energy dating back to the creation of a solar energy program in the early 1970′s. The University has provided the solar industry with many new developments which have helped accelerate the growth of the solar industry in the United States and abroad. It’s leadership continues with the adoption of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) under which the University buys electricity from Perpetual, the actual system owner, which can claim the tax and related benefits from their ownership position.
The University’s commitment to solar power lies not only in the research labs across campus, but also in the student body itself. The solar arrays will be funded in part by the senior class gift from the class of 2009, demonstrating the importance of green initiatives to University students beyond the classroom setting.
The PPA comes on the heels of the state of Delaware passing a strengthened Renewable Energy Standard Portfolio. In late July, the Delaware state Senate passed Senate Bill 119, boosting renewable energy requirements to 13% by 2015 with 1% coming from solar. The bill requires that 25% of electricity be generated by renewable sources with 3% coming from solar by the year 2025.
The commitment to renewable energy in the state has made it possible for institutions like the University of Delaware to undertake large scale renewable energy initiatives that are positioning Delaware as one of the front runners in the race to reduce our nation’s carbon emissions.
The conclusion of sessions in the Delaware and Pennsylvania legislatures offer a dynamic contrast to choices lawmakers made this summer to strengthen — or handicap — their clean energy economies. The Delaware General Assembly June 29 passed Senate Bill 119 to strengthen its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard along with bills funding green energy programs and improving its “net metering” law while the Pennsylvania House of Representatives balked at House Bill 2405 to diversfy their energy sources with solar, among other incentives.
Proponents in each state — including Standard Solar – saw the opportunity and risk of not keeping up with states such as Maryland and Colorado to further incentivize purchases of solar electric systems. Delaware’s approach involved three separate bills (ergo the “hat trick”) under the leadership of Senator Harris McDowell. The Senate Bill 119 boosted its commitment to renewables to 13% of electricity sales by 2015, with 1% coming from solar. By 2025, that commitment rises to 25% of electricity sales with 3.5% from solar. Not bad for the nation’s First State.
Pennsylvania meanwhile tried an omnibus approach using one bill that attracted so many amendments (mostly from opponents) that House Bill 2405 failed of its own weight in the closing days. One amendment would have classified ‘new,’ additional generation from nuclear reactors as “renewable.” Had 2405 passed the House, it still would have needed to win passage in the Senate. The coal industry once again demonstrated considerable clout by arguing that any legislation for clean energy (including advanced coal technologies to reduce emissions) was a vote against traditional coal and therefore should be defeated. Even pro-solar Governor Ed Rendell, who leaves the Statehouse after 2010, could not persuade enough lawmakers to see the light.
The clean energy sweepstakes will be won by states that see the new good-paying jobs, stronger tax bases and cleaner environments as virtues that deserve to be incentivized long enough to continue driving down costs and attract significant private capital. It is truly surprising to see Pennsylvania, widely heralded as an early leader, ‘punt’ and fall back.