Del. Tech reaches renewable energy goal ahead of schedule [video]

Delaware Technical Community College has met its goal of reducing its statewide carbon footprint ahead of time.

The weather couldn’t have been better for Tuesday’s unveiling of Del. Tech’s final solar panel carport at its Charles L. Terry Campus in Dover.

In 2010, Delaware Tech set out to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2020. The college began the first part of its initiative to establish a statewide system of solar panels at their four campuses across Delaware in 2013, and completed its mission today.

Delaware Governor John Carney was present for the ribbon cutting, and spoke about the pride he feels for this project and the state of Delaware. “I couldn’t be prouder to be in a state where we think globally and act locally,” Carney said.

According to the college, the latest installation of solar panels has surpassed its original goal of reducing their carbon footprint 20 percent by the year 2020. It reportedly has reduced its emissions 25 percent three years ahead of schedule.

“Annually, the electricity produced by these systems will offset the carbon dioxide emissions from more than 2.2 million pounds of coal,” said Tony Clifford, chief development officer for Standard Solar.

The college partnered with Standard Solar and Urban Grid to make the solar panels.

Beyond the economic and environmental benefits the college will stand to gain from this project, Del Tech’s environmental and renewable energy students will also be able to learn from this project in their studies.

“These arrays of panels are a real world example that will reinforce the class and laboratory learning Del Tech students are getting in their solar and renewable energy programs,” Clifford added.

While today’s event marks the completion of the college’s original plan, officials have no intentions to stop there.

“We will keep improving, but for now we want to focus on our academic programs on this matter,” said Mark Brainard, Delaware Technical Community College president.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.