Newark’s Renewable Energy Program
In partnership with its citizens, Newark is striving to become a more sustainable community, one which meets the needs of its present inhabitants while preserving for future generations the finite local and global resources and our natural environment. As part of the roadmap to becoming more sustainable, the City has established goals related to how we provide electric power to customers via our Sustainability Plan. One of the City’s goals is to procure renewable generation resources for our distributed electricity mix of at least 30% by 2025, 65% by 2035, and 100% as soon as practicable but no later than 2045. At this moment, only 18.5% of the City’s power is derived from renewable energy, which is solar and wind.
While our current distributed electricity mix is 18.5%, City residents and businesses have shown consistent support for including renewable resources in the rest of our power supply mix — even if such resources are more expensive than non-renewable power sources. Customers wanting to help the City reach its sustainability goals early can do so directly through our Renewable Energy Program and complete the form to voluntarily enroll.
Renewable Energy Program
Bill 21-01 created a new, optional, 100% renewable energy fee for all electric customer classifications. The new rate will automatically apply to all new electric accounts created after May 26, 2021, and existing electric customers can opt into this program if they so choose. The fee is set on a charge per kilowatt-hour (kWh), and the revenue derived from this fee is used to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) of sufficient quantity to cover all usage from accounts that have opted to participate in the program. The RECs will then be retired on behalf of those customers. New customers opting out and existing customers opting in to the program will need to do so on a form provided by the City, which can be done at any time, and effective on the next bill cycle.
Under this program, RECs will come from wind, solar, and other eligible energy resources as defined in §352, Title 26 of the Code of the State of Delaware. This is the same requirement used for RECs included in the Municipal Renewable Portfolio Standard (MRPS) program. RECs charged against the program would be only those RECs needed to close the gap between the MRPS renewable percentage minimum and 100%.
There is a default hierarchy of preference for where to source RECs. The currently included list, in descending order of preference, is:
- Generation from City of Newark owned assets
- Generation from DEMEC member communities
- Generation from Delaware municipalities
- Generation from within the State of Delaware, including its coastal waters
- Generation from within the States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, including the coastal waters of each state.
- Generation from within the PJM Market (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland – and also now serves Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia).
- Other grid-interconnected sources
Purchases will be generally made in alignment with the above order of preference while also taking into consideration REC prices.
Effective May 27, 2021, the Renewable Energy Rate will be $0.015 per kWh.
City Renewable Energy Sources (under construction in 2021)
The solar renewable energy credits (SRECS) derived from the installation of approximately 1,300 kW of new solar generation on City buildings and land will be used to fulfill some of the need to source RECs once these projects are fully completed:
- Municipal Center: Rooftop solar on City Hall
- Field Operations Complex: Rooftop solar on Building #1 and Building #2
- Newark Reservoir: Field adjacent to the reservoir
- McKees Solar Park: Expansion of existing solar