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DNREC announces changes to Delaware’s Green Energy Fund; Joint Green Energy Program for photovoltaic installations to launch August 4

DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate and the state’s Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) have announced the August 4 launch of the Joint Green Energy Program with the intention of increasing small-scale photovoltaic installations in Delaware through the state’s Green Energy Fund. Other Green Energy Fund-related incentives and grant applications are being revised to become effective on the same date.

The Green Energy Fund helps Delaware homeowners, businesses, and non-profit organizations in the Delmarva Power & Light (DPL) service territory meet their energy needs in a more sustainable way through the installation of renewable energy systems, including solar photovoltaic, solar water heating, geothermal, and wind. Funding for the program is collected via a public benefit charge on DPL customer utility bills. Since 1999, the Green Energy Fund has supported more than 1,500 renewable energy projects in Delaware and helped Delaware emerge as a national leader in solar energy, contributing to a 30-fold increase in new solar capacity since 2008.

The Joint Green Energy Program is a partnership between DNREC and the Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) designed to put more small scale photovoltaic (PV) installations in Delaware. While the DNREC Green Energy Program and the SEU Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program are independent, the joint program will benefit solar PV system owners by removing SREC price uncertainty while also reducing system pay-back time. The joint program also streamlines the application process by allowing applicants to apply for both the grant program and for SRECs by using a single online application portal.

The SEU is committing $1.5 million of Delaware’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funds on an annual basis for two years to fund the SREC portion of the Joint Green Energy Program. SEU-RGGI funds will be used to buy SRECs in a single upfront payment of $0.45/watt in exchange for the first 20 years of SRECs produced by the system. The SEU SREC program is open to all Delaware-sited systems less than or equal to 50 kW in size, regardless of the customer's electric provider.

Also as of August 4, the Joint Green Energy Program will expand incentives for geothermal and solar water heating projects. The SEU is committing $1 million for two years to offer grants up to $200,000 for commercial and non-profit geothermal and solar water heating projects sited in Delaware.

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