Over the last decade, there has been significant growth in the use of solar power in the United States and around the world. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the average annual growth rate in solar energy has been 42 percent over the past ten years. However, Delaware has arguably lagged behind this trend. Senate Bill 2 was passed in an effort to change that.
The bill, originally introduced in the Senate’s Environment & Energy Committee this past June, amends Titles 6, 26, and 29 of the Delaware Code relating to community-owned energy generating facilities and renewable energy. The legislation will involve a rulemaking by the Public Services Commission to culminate on March 11, 2022.
Senate Bill 2 was enacted to eliminate current barriers to community-based solar photovoltaic systems in Delaware. The legislation sets up a regulatory process to be implemented by the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) with consumer protection provided by Delaware’s Department of Justice. Among other things, Senate Bill 2 will:
Community solar projects could transform the way many Delaware individuals and institutions receive and pay for power, hopefully lowering costs. For example, community solar project customers can receive credit on electricity bills for power put back into the grid. A local health center could launch a community solar project and share solar credits with patients. There are endless possibilities. For now, potential Delaware solar developers need to focus on the nuts and bolts of approving these projects. Community solar developers should keep the following top of mind:
Property owners, on the other hand, need to consider securing legal counsel to review any proposed agreements immediately if a solar developer has requested execution of a lease or option. We would appreciate hearing from you about your proposed project or interest in Delaware solar opportunities, and discuss how we might help with agreements, title insurance, zoning due diligence and approvals, regulatory approvals and related matters.