DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation extends deadline for Fenwick Island State Park Improvements Survey

FENWICK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has extended the Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey deadline to Jan. 15, 2020. The extension is to allow further input regarding improvements to the park that are under consideration.

The estimated $18 million in proposed improvements look at ways to improve traffic flow, upgrade infrastructure, and add new recreational amenities. Ørsted, an offshore wind developer, has proposed funding these projects as part of a public-private partnership.

The funding for the amenities under consideration could be done sooner if the State allows the Maryland Skipjack Wind Farm project proposed in Federal waters to connect to the electrical grid under Fenwick Island State Park. DNREC is extending the period to take comments on the park improvements. Comments on the wind farm should be directed to United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Office of Public Affairs at BOEMPublicAffairs@boem.gov, 202-208-6474 or 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.

The Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey and its comment section are specific to the park and its amenities. For questions or to complete the survey, visit www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

For more information about the Skipjack Wind Farm, visit https://skipjackwindfarm.com. For additional information on the Federal approval process through BOEM, visit www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/maryland-activities.

Contact: Shauna McVey, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220.

Delaware Offshore Wind Working Group to hold public workshops May 29 and 31

DOVER – Delaware’s Offshore Wind Working Group will host two public workshops in May for input on the working group’s draft recommendations to the Governor.

Workshops will be held at 6 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, May 29, William Penn High School Auditorium, 713 E. Basin Road New Castle, DE 19720
  • Thursday, May 31, South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

The workshops will begin with a brief update on draft recommendations that were developed at the working group’s April 23 meeting. The public may then offer comments on the draft recommendations.

The recommendations focus on three key questions:

  • What factors need to be considered before Delaware responds when a company proposes to develop offshore wind?
  • What factors need to be considered in a decision on whether the state would solicit or purchase energy, capacity or renewable energy credits (RECs) from an offshore wind project?
  • What can Delaware do to position itself to become the location for part of the supply chain for offshore wind projects in the Mid-Atlantic?

The draft recommendations, along with briefing materials, public comments, and additional resources are posted at de.gov/offshorewind.

All Offshore Wind Working Group meetings are open to the public and posted on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar.

For more information, or to submit written comment, please contact Tom Noyes, principal planner for utility policy, DNREC Division of Energy & Climate, by emailing Thomas.Noyes@delaware.gov or calling 302-735-3480.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 48, No. 129

DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate to hold public workshops Oct. 30 and 31 on new energy efficiency industrial grants

Workshops to discuss updates to existing program, new industrial grants, and grant opportunities for participating contractors

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate will host two public workshops to discuss updates to the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund (EEIF), and to announce the launch of a new program, Energy Efficiency Industrial (E2I) grants. Both public workshops will cover the same topics. The workshops will take place at:

  • 4:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, at the Pat Ellis Conference Room, 391 Lukens Drive, in New Castle
  • 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the DNREC Auditorium, in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, in Dover

The EEIF and E2I programs offer grant funds and low-interest loans for energy efficiency upgrades. Since 2011, EEIF has helped businesses, non-profits, and local governments make upgrades to their buildings to save energy and lower utility bills. The workshops will discuss updates to this program, including a new pathway for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects, and an opportunity for businesses to apply as participating contractors. Participating contractors will be recognized on the DNREC website, where potential customers can search for contractors experienced with the EEIF process.

The new E2I program will focus on innovative energy efficiency updates for large-scale energy users. E2I is open to Delmarva Power customers who use at least 10,000 MWh and/or 95,000 MMBtu per year. Applications for E2I and for participating contractors will be accepted beginning Monday, Nov. 6.

“We have seen time and time again that energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways to lower energy use and lower operations costs, making commercial buildings more affordable and environmentally friendly,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Last year, Delaware’s EEIF grants supported 146 projects that, collectively, will result in lower electricity use amounting to 29 million kilowatt-hours per year. These grantees will save almost $3.5 million in electricity costs and over $2 million in heating costs. Also through these energy savings, EEIF projects will lower carbon emissions by saving the equivalent of emissions produced by more than 7,000 homes’ annual energy use, or the emissions produced in a year by more than 14,000 vehicles.”

For more information, visit de.gov/eeif, or contact DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate at 302-735-3480.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

DNREC Division of Energy & Climate announces launch of electric vehicle Delaware Workplace Charging Program

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate encourages businesses, non-profit organizations, and local governments to take advantage of the opportunity to install electric vehicle charging stations for employees’ use through the Delaware Workplace Charging Program. Participants in the program can receive rebates and technical guidance for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

Organizations who opt to “fuel electrically” by installing charging stations can receive rebates for as many as six charging stations. Rebates cover 75 percent of the cost of charging equipment, up to $5,000 per rebate.

As electric vehicles grow in popularity across Delaware and the United States, installing electric vehicle charging stations is a simple and effective way for businesses and organizations to “go green” and support sustainability in their workforce and communities. Currently, 37 models of electric (battery-powered) and plug-in hybrid electric (battery and gas-powered) vehicles from almost every major auto manufacturer in the United States are available, with more models coming out every year.

“Workplaces are ideal locations for charging stations,” said Clean Transportation Planner Kathy Harris, Division of Energy & Climate. “Vehicles are parked there up to 8 hours a day, allowing employees time to fully charge their vehicles and ensure they have enough battery range for their commute.”

Workplace charging also opens opportunities for electric fleet vehicles, which have lower fueling and maintenance costs than their gasoline counterparts.

In the past two years, DNREC’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program has provided 465 rebates for electric vehicles and 120 rebates for residential and commercial charging stations to Delawareans in all three counties.

The Delaware Workplace Charging Program is open to participants through June 30, 2018. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Division of Energy & Climate at 302-735-3480, and to visit de.gov/cleantransportation.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Delaware Joins U.S. Climate Alliance to Uphold Goals of Paris Agreement

Governor Carney pledges support in fight against climate change

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Monday that Delaware has joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, after President Trump announced last week that he would withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. The Climate Alliance now includes 13 members.

“Delaware is the country’s lowest-lying state and with 381 miles of coastline, climate change is a very real threat to our future,” said Governor Carney. “As sea levels rise, more than 17,000 Delaware homes, nearly 500 miles of roadway and thousands of acres of wildlife habitat including our critical wetlands are at risk of permanent inundation. Rising average temperatures and an increase in extreme weather events also pose health risks to Delawareans, and threaten our economy. The U.S. should lead in the global fight against climate change. Delaware is proud to join this coalition of states providing that necessary leadership.”

The Paris Agreement called for the U.S. to achieve a 26-28 percent reduction of emissions, from 2005 levels, by 2025. Delaware’s continued commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to clean energy also will provide economic opportunity for Delawareans, and offer significant public health and environmental benefits.

Delaware’s greenhouse gases come from three primary sources: energy production, transportation, and industry. The state is working to reduce emissions in a number of ways, including through continued participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Delaware also has set renewable energy targets and increased energy efficiency with building codes, weatherization and other voluntary programs.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires action at all levels – from people using less energy and driving fuel efficient cars, to the government establishing national pollutant standards,” said Shawn Garvin, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “We are proud of the progress the state has made and programs that help Delawareans drive cleaner cars and improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses. There is still much work to be done to reduce Delaware’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions, and I look forward to working with our sister states through the US Climate Alliance to meet Delaware’s pledge for the Paris Agreement.”

In the transportation sector, the state has incentivized the transition to cleaner fuels and electric vehicles, and now has a statewide network of charging stations.

“As we look to the future, it is imperative that we improve transportation resiliency to adapt to the effects of a changing climate. Incorporating the impact of climate change into our project planning and development, and adding more alternative fuel vehicles to our public transportation fleet each year are just two examples of how DelDOT is responding, and we thank Governor Carney for his leadership and commitment to this effort,” said Jennifer Cohan, Secretary of Transportation.