Do you know what Delaware’s Solar-Ready Ordinance is? The New Castle County Council of Delaware passed an ordinance substitute which will “require newly constructed commercial buildings with low-sloped roofs to be ‘solar ready'”. (Source)
This solar-ready ordinance is part of the New Castle County 2050 Comprehensive Plan to “help guide development and services; shape the communities where we live, work, and play; celebrate our environmental, historical, and cultural assets; and support a robust economy” according to the NCC Department of Land Use. All new building permit submissions as of January 1, 2023 will be required to be built with the opportunity to install solar on their rooftops in the future. So far, this is only a law in New Castle County, not Kent or Sussex – two Delaware counties with less commercial and industrial development than New Castle. Some buildings in Delaware may already be prepared for the solar infrastructure installation on their rooftops but many others will need renovations.
In greater detail, any new building equal to or greater than 50,000 square feet has to “allow a rooftop solar photovoltaic system to be easily and cost effectively installed at a future date.” “This ordinance also follows the efforts of federal, state, and local leaders who continue to set forth funding opportunities to support “smart grid” electrical equipment” according to a fact sheet released by New Castle County Department of Land Use.
The rooftops of America’s big box stores and shopping centers have the potential to generate 84.4 terawatt-hours (TWh) of solar electricity each year, equivalent to the amount of electricity used by almost 8 million average U.S. homes, or more than 30,400 typical Walmart stores. Producing electricity on rooftops, close to where the electricity will be used, reduces energy losses that happen during electricity transmission and distribution — losses that made up 6% of gross electricity generation in 2020. Solar power also makes the grid more resilient to outages and disruptions. – Environment America, “Solar on Superstores: Big Roofs, Big Potential for Renewable Energy”