DNREC Launches New Residential Solar Pilot Program

Assistance to Be Available for Low- to Moderate-Income Households

Low- to moderate-income homeowners who qualify can get help with the cost of installing solar panels through a new two-year pilot program from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control set to launch July 1.
DNREC’s Low- to Moderate-Income Solar Pilot Program seeks to test future expansion of residential solar photovoltaic systems into these market segments, which have been underserved by existing renewable energy assistance programs.

“DNREC’s Green Energy Program has helped thousands of Delawareans make the switch to solar power, but installation costs continue to be an obstacle for many low- and moderate-income households,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This pilot program removes that barrier and makes clean energy a viable option for more families.”

Experience acquired from two-year pilot program by the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy will be used to develop a statewide solar program that will provide services to low- to moderate-income homes, regardless of electric utility service territory.

Low-income households must first apply for installation services through DNREC’s Weatherization Assistance Program, a cost-free program that helps renters and homeowners cut their energy bills by weatherproofing and improving the energy efficiency of their homes. Qualified homes can receive a cost-free solar installation of up to 4.0 kW.

Moderate-income households can visit de.gov/lmi for information about approved solar contractors for the LMI pilot program. Application for the program will be submitted through the contractor chosen by a homeowner. Qualified moderate-income households will receive a solar installation 70% paid for by the LMI Solar Program and 30% by the homeowner for a system size up to 6.0 kW.
Contractors participating in the program include CMI Solar & Electric, KW Solar Solutions and Clean Energy USA.

Funding for the LMI Solar Program comes from the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Green Energy Fund.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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Funding Available for Tree-Planting Projects

More than 120,000 trees have been planted since the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI) began in November 2021.

Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI) Proposals Due July 1

State agencies and non-governmental organizations with 501(c)(3) status have until July 1 to submit funding request proposals for reforestation projects through the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI).

TEDI, administered through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy and the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Delaware Forest Service launched last November. The initiative works with partners to enhance and support tree plantings throughout the state, with a goal of planting at least one tree for every Delawarean.

Planting trees is a nature-based solution to reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, playing a critical role in helping fight climate change. TEDI is part of the state’s comprehensive plan to respond to climate change and supports Delaware’s Climate Action Plan.

Funding requests can include multiple projects and may range from $5,000 to $20,000.

Applications must be submitted to DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 1. Visit the TEDI website for more information about the program and the requirements of the call for proposals, or email questions to TEDI@delaware.gov.

Delawareans can join in the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative by tracking trees they plant on their own property and inputting the information in the TEDI Tracker, which can be found at de.gov/tedi.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, Jamesw.lee@delaware.gov

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Champion Crowned in 2022 Delaware Junior Solar Sprint

Christian Wiggins of Fred Fifer Middle School of Camden gives a thumbs up for the 2022 Junior Solar Sprint. Wiggins and teammate Priya Patel took top honors in the virtual competition Wednesday, April 27.

 

Middle School Students Build, Race Solar Vehicles

The team of Christian Wiggins and Priya Patel from Fred Fifer Middle School of Camden earned the title of 2022 Delaware Junior Solar Sprint champion in a virtual competition held Wednesday.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control teams up with the Delaware Technology Student Association for the event each year. Middle school students work with classmates and teacher advisors over several months to build model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells, better known as solar panels.

“Transitioning to cleaner energy sources is a key strategy is Delaware’s Climate Action Plan,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This competition provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate how we can accomplish our goal of reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, all while increasing their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.”

For the second year, the competition was held virtually. As a result, in addition to designing their solar vehicles, students had to construct a track to competition specifications and record their best times in a video presentation that was also part of the judging.

“The Junior Solar Sprint really showcases the talents and ingenuity of each of the teams,” said DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy Director Dayna Cobb. “And even with the added requirements of the virtual format, the students once again performed well beyond expectations.”

The Junior Solar Sprint encourages students to engage in problem-solving, teamwork and creative scientific thinking to take on environmental challenges.

Students received points for project portfolios, video presentations of their work, overall design and fastest speed in a timed run. The team accumulating the most points wins and has an opportunity to represent Delaware against other students from around the country in the national TSA conference, which is being held in Dallas, Texas, in June.

Schools participating in this year’s event included Holy Cross School, Dover; Conrad Schools of Science, Wilmington; Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Newark; Fred Fifer Middle School, Camden; Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Wilmington; and H.B. duPont Middle School, Hockessin.

Competition results:

The all-around winners for combined speed, design, video and portfolio presentations were:

  • 1st place: Christian Wiggins and Priya Patel from Fred Fifer Middle School
  • 2nd place: Vishal Karthikeyan, Chetan Kasukurthi, Vedic Mukherjee and Aashrith Banda from Cab Calloway School of the Arts
  • 3rd place: Joshua Ford, Robert Maegerle, Eleni Demetriou and Cooper Oldham from H.B. duPont Middle School

Top results from the timed run competition included:

  • 1st place: Christian Wiggins and Priya Patel from Fred Fifer Middle School
  • 2nd place: Vishal Karthikeyan, Chetan Kasukurthi, Vedic Mukherjee and Aashrith Banda from Cab Calloway School of the Arts
  • 3rd place: Victoria Pate, Brynn Reeves, Paityn O’Leary and Savannah Miller from Holy Cross School

Top results from the design and video competition included:

  • 1st place: Christian Wiggins and Priya Patel from Fred Fifer Middle School
  • 2nd place: Victoria Pate, Brynn Reeves, Paityn O’Leary and Savannah from Holy Cross School
  • 3rd place: Massimo Smith, Isabella DiMondi, Samantha Worden and Sophia Preskenis from Holy Cross School

Top results from the portfolio competition included:

  • 1st place: Christian Wiggins and Priya Patel from Fred Fifer Middle School
  • 2nd place: Vishal Karthikeyan, Chetan Kasukurthi, Vedic Mukherjee and Aashrith Banda from Cab Calloway School of the Arts
  • 3rd. place: Tushar Rameshbabu and Soumil Ghosh from Conrad Schools of Science

DNREC would also like to thank the 2022 Virtual Junior Solar Sprint sponsors: Chesapeake Utilities, Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, Delaware Electric Co-Op and the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation.

Visit de.gov/solarsprint for more information on the Junior Solar Sprint, or to watch a recording of the virtual competition.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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DNREC Volunteer Awards, Tree for Every Delawarean Planting Kick Off Earth Week at Brandywine Park

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and State Senator Nicole Poore, Jobs for Delaware Graduates president, help plant a ceremonial sycamore tree along the Brandywine River as part of the 2022 DNREC Volunteer Awards and Tree for Every Delawarean Planting held April 18 at Brandywine Park in Wilmington. Pictured, left to right, are: Secretary Garvin; Josh Fitzgerald, grounds maintenance supervisor for Wilmington and Alapocas Run State Parks; Angel Davila-Chicas and Stephanie Mendez-Torres, Jobs for Delaware Graduates volunteers; Senator Poore, and DNREC Deputy Secretary Lisa Borin Ogden. /DNREC photo

 

 

To kick off Earth Week and National Volunteer Week, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) hosted its 2022 DNREC Volunteer Awards ceremony Monday in Brandywine Park, Wilmington, alongside a Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI) planting by Jobs for Delaware Graduates (JDG) youth volunteers.

Secretary Shawn M. Garvin presented the DNREC Volunteer Awards to outstanding Delawareans who have stepped up to get their hands dirty to benefit the Delaware State Parks and the planet, and then joined JDG President Sen. Nicole Poore to plant a ceremonial sycamore tree at the planting site along the Brandywine River.

“The volunteers celebrated today are valuable stewards of Delaware State Parks and help DNREC reach its mission,” Secretary Garvin said. “Our parks system benefits from friends groups, veterans, youth organizations, businesses, non-profits, families and individuals. Volunteering for DNREC is a win-win opportunity, where members of the public can give back to our state and the planet we all call home and enjoy Delaware’s natural and cultural resources.”

While volunteer hours have decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2,054 volunteers contributed 97,500 hours, or the equivalent of 50 full-time employees, throughout Delaware State Parks in 2021. Volunteer opportunities at the parks include helping with operations, maintenance, programming, education, environmental stewardship, trail upkeep and to tell the history of Delaware.

Jobs for Delaware Graduates volunteers gladly stepped up to plant 120 saplings in the picnic area along the river. JDG is a school-to-work transitional program, dedicated to helping youth who face challenges and helping them reach academic and economic success.

The April 18 TEDI planting is one of several hosted by DNREC and the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) this spring. TEDI is a statewide initiative that aims to plant 1 million trees, or about one for every resident.

The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy and DDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Program partner with other stakeholders to administer the initiative, which was launched last year as a key strategy of Delaware’s Climate Action Plan. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and offset the greenhouse gases that are driving climate change.

This TEDI planting will help soak up excess rainwater and filter out pollutants, which will improve water quality of the Brandywine River. JDG is a school-to-work transitional program that helps youth who face challenges reach academic and economic success.

Delawareans can add any trees they plant to the online TEDI Tracker, which shows location and other information about trees planted around the state since 2020. The web page, de.gov/tedi, also provides information on TEDI tree planting volunteer opportunities.

The recipients of the 2022 DNREC Volunteer Awards for advancing the department’s mission through outstanding service include:

Youth Education Volunteer of the Year: Owen Marko.

Administration/Coordinator Group Volunteer of the Year: Lums Pond Campground Hosts.

Youth Group Volunteer of the Year: B.S.A. Troop 2.

Business Partner: DuPont Company.

Habitat Restoration/Conservation: Don Coats.

Recreation Group Volunteer of the Year: Brandywine Mountain Bike Collective.

Historical Conservation/Restoration Group: Auburn Valley Railroad Crew.

Historical Education Volunteer of the Year: Pauletta Clemens.

Environmental Education Individual Volunteer of the Year: Andy Ednie.

Environmental Conservation Volunteer of the Year: Wendy Aycoth.

Recreation Individual Volunteer of the Year: Gary Kirk.

Friends Group Volunteer of the Year: Friends of Wilmington State Parks.

Administration and Coordination Volunteer of the Year: Kimberly Gould.

DNREC offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. For more information, visit de.gov/dnrecvolunteer.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov


Students ‘Make A Splash’ for the Environment

Fourth and fifth grade students learn about the importance of trees at the annual Make A Splash event held at the St. Jones Reserve and John Dickinson Plantation in Dover Wednesday. DNREC photo.

 

Annual Event Highlights Importance of Protecting Water Resources

More than 370 students from five elementary schools participated in the annual “Make a Splash” festival Wednesday, an event that educates students on the diversity of estuary life and the importance of Delaware’s water resources.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) co-sponsors the event, which is held annually at the St. Jones Reserve, a component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR), and the Department of State Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs’ John Dickinson Plantation near Dover.

Throughout the day, students visited activity stations dedicated to the historical and current uses of Delaware’s water resources such as recycling’s impact on clean waterways, a wetland walk and a wave tank. From singing sea shanties to partaking in the “Incredible Journey: The Water Cycle” students were submersed in all forms water.

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin inspects mosquito larvae at one of the stations.
DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin inspects mosquito larvae at one of the stations. DNREC photo.

“Make a Splash is a great opportunity for students to connect what they are learning in their classrooms to what is happening in the environment,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “In experiencing those connections, it is our hope to inspire the next generation of Delaware’s water resource stewards.”

Students from Lighthouse Christian School, John Bassett Moore, Townsend, South Dover and Rehoboth elementary schools participated in the event.

“Bringing together natural and cultural resources is a win for Delaware,” said Tim Slavin, director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. “Special thanks to DNREC for their years-long partnership with HCA at Make-A-Splash.”

Fourth and fifth graders from schools statewide participate in fun and interactive water activities designed to educate students about the importance of water and water resources management.
Fourth and fifth graders from schools statewide participate in fun and interactive water activities designed to educate students about the importance of water and water resources management. DNREC photo.

Volunteers and presenters in this year’s event included the DNREC Divisions of Climate, Coastal and Energy, Parks and Recreation, Water, Fish and Wildlife, Watershed Stewardship and Waste and Hazardous Substances, as well as representatives from John Dickinson Plantation,

the New Castle County Conservation District, University of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Agriculture Delaware Forest Service.

The event is organized by a steering committee represented by DNERR, John Dickinson Plantation, National Park Service, City of Dover, and DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship and Division of Parks and Recreation.

 

 

 

 

 

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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