The Nov 10th Sussex County Council meeting accepted a consultant's recommendation to use a federal grant of $648,000 to install over 400 solar panels for Sussex County's Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The panels will draw on sunlight and convert the energy into electricity. The power produced will help power the 911 center and the residual power can be sold back to the local electrical grid.
This project will result in an annual electric cost savings to the county of more than $12,000. It is expected to generate $30,000 annually in new revenue and will receive a one-time state rebate of more than $200,000 for adopting the technology. Sussex County stands to earn as much as $1.3 million in revenue over the next 25 years by using the grant for solar technology.
The initial grant of $40,000 came from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The county selected Harbeson Delaware's Flexera Inc. to develop the project strategy. Over 400 solar panels will be installed next to the EOC which is the most energy efficient facility in the county. The facility is a 1-year old county building and was one of eight studied.
The solar panels will produce over 120,000 kilowatts of electricity and will cut about $12,000 off the EOC's annual bill of $86,000. As an added bonus, the project will qualify for another $211,000 in rebates from the state of Delaware. With County Council's endorsement of the proposal, the strategy now will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy for review later this month. If approved, the federal government will release the $648,000 grant to the county to implement the strategy.