Delaware lawmakers want to make Delaware a little greener by promoting more solar energy farms.
The effort announced on Tuesday would require utility companies – namely Delmarva Power – to get a greater percentage of their electricity from wind or solar energy by either buying it or creating it themselves.
Right now, the goal of Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which was created in 2005, is to get 25% of Delaware’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. This new measure would require 40% by 2035.
Sen. Harris McDowell, D-Wilmington North, who is chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, plans to introduce a bill outlining the changes.
The bill would create incentives for Delaware towns, cities and counties to invest in solar farms. If a local government chose to participate, it would fund and build its own solar farm. It would then be able to sell the electricity as “Community Solar Renewable Energy Credits” and use the revenue to lower residents’ utility bills, according to a Senate news release.
“This is pioneering legislation that brings the sun’s energy directly to the people,” McDowell said in a statement. “Best of all, under this act, all who opt in will pay lower electricity rates.”
The proposal has at least 14 co-sponsors, according to the release.
The Delaware General Assembly has postponed the 2020 legislative session indefinitely to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Legislative Hall. It’s unclear how lawmakers are going to pass the next fiscal year’s budget or any bill before their deadline, June 30.
McDowell, who is the longest-serving lawmaker in Delaware history, is retiring at the end of his term this year.