Belvedere Vol. Fire Company unveils solar power system

By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman Community News

Wilmington, Del. -

Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company unveiled their new 50-kilowatt solar power system today, built from Delaware-manufactured components and Delaware contractors.

The solar system will save the fire company an estimated one-third of its electric utility costs - approximately $400,000 over the life of the system.

"Adding solar power is a great way for a community organization to save on energy costs while reducing pollutants entering and damaging our environment," DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara said. "It is like taking nine to 10 cars off the road."

The Belvedere Fire Company was chosen for this project because several volunteer firefighters work at Cermet Materials, located in Wilmington, which manufactures products used in solar panel production. Cermet Materials brought KW Solar Solutions, located in Newark, on board as project manager and installer. Materials were purchased through United Electric, an electrical supply company based in New Castle, and the 208 40-watt solar panels were manufactured by Motech Delaware, which is located in Newark. Nickle Electric Companies of Newark provided electrical work, and the Delaware Green Energy Program provided additional funding for the project.

"Local business, government and the community came together to give back, putting solar panels up to help power this fire hall and the work these volunteers do," Gov. Jack Markell said.