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Delaware Community Saves with Solar

November 28, 2012 - 4:41pm

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With a grant from the Energy Department's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, the community of Ocean View, Delaware, installed a carport-mounted solar array that is saving taxpayers money on town utility bills. | Photo courtesy of the Town of Ocean View.

With a grant from the Energy Department's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, the community of Ocean View, Delaware, installed a carport-mounted solar array that is saving taxpayers money on town utility bills. | Photo courtesy of the Town of Ocean View.

Beach season may have ended months ago, but just a short jaunt from the shore, an administration building in Ocean View, Delaware, is soaking up the sun -- saving taxpayer dollars on town utility bills. 

The Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building recently installed a 68.4 kW solar photovoltaic power system with a grant from the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, administered by the state’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Energy and Climate.

The installation of the carport-mounted solar panel system over the parking lot on the east side of the municipal building is expected to save at least 50 percent on the building’s electricity bills. Already in the first six months of operation, the solar array has saved the town about $6,100 in energy costs compared to the building’s prior year of utility costs -- a savings that is more than the array’s projected annual savings. Ocean View used an additional EECBG grant to upgrade lighting and HVAC systems in the municipal building and the town hall.

In October, U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper joined Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara and town officials to celebrate the completion of the project at a dedication ceremony.

“Ocean View is one of more than 40 towns throughout Delaware 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.”

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