Markell Introduces Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Act

Standing before solar panels that were made in Delaware and could help power the state, Governor Jack Markell announced his intention to seek legislation that will put more people to work, help homes and businesses secure locally-generated power and expand emerging industries such as wind and solar power in Delaware to create new long-term careers for the state’s citizens.

“The purpose of the initiative – the Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Act – is simple: to create quality jobs, expand local manufacturing and establish Delaware as a national leader in the adoption of renewable energy,” Markell said.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act would facilitate the potential installation of approximately 300 MW of new solar photovoltaic systems by 2029, resulting in the creation of hundreds of secure, quality jobs. The Act would also facilitate the potential installation of over 1000 MW of utility-scale generation, likely in offshore wind power, resulting in as many as 1000 new construction jobs and 150 new long-term operation and maintenance jobs by 2029. Additional jobs would be created by prioritizing Delaware renewable-energy projects and incentivizing the use of locally manufactured systems.

It achieves these goals in part by increasing the amount of renewable energy available in Delaware. By adding a longer-range target to the existing Renewable Portfolio Standard, Delaware will be on a course to receive 30% of its energy supplies from renewable sources by 2029. It would also seek uniformity in the RPS and include a “local generation component” to maximize the economic development potential from solar and wind energy.

“To restore our economic promise and prosperity, the State can and will lead by example when it comes to creating efficiencies, supporting jobs and being good stewards of our environment,” said Markell.

Markell made the announcement at Motech Americas, a solar company in Newark. Motech Americas currently employs more than 70 people and is in the process of expanding manufacturing capacity. They are expected to add 75 more jobs before the end of the year.

The Governor was joined by leaders from local business and higher education, as well as legislators from across the state, including Senator Harris McDowell, Chair of the Senate Energy and Transit Committee and one of Delaware’s most active proponents for renewable energy, and Rep. Earl Jacques, who represents the district in which Motech Americas is located.

The Cabinet Secretaries present reflected the broad scope of people who will be served by more clean energy jobs – the Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Labor, Director of Economic Development and Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Some of the quality jobs that a clean energy industry would support include skilled trades’ people, electricians, steel fabricators, IT specialists, electrical engineers, solar system installers, wind turbine service technicians, training specialists, factory workers and support service personnel like accountants, educators and customer service specialists.

“We are working closely with our neighboring states to create a vibrant mid-Atlantic clean energy market, but we also want to maximize capital investment and quality jobs in Delaware. We can move more rapidly, respond to opportunities more quickly and get people back to work,” Markell said.

At the event, the Governor highlighted some of the great work being done by Delaware businesses to move technology and the state’s economy forward. For example: DuPont is emerging as a leader in solar technology components; WL Gore is developing next-generation fuel cells; White Optics has an innovative high-efficiency lighting solution; PTM Manufacturing is producing innovative, green-building materials; Sanosil manufactures green cleaning products; Innospec is working on alternative fuels; Autoport is doing electric vehicles conversions and potentially ground-breaking vehicle-to-grid power (V2G); IonPower is designing fuel cells; Ashland is developing green chemistry and water technology; Fisker said it expects to employ thousands of Delawareans, and NRG recently acquired Bluewater Wind, recognizing the value of clean energy to their bottom line.