This week, reported on the latest environmentally responsible improvements that Fenwick Island begun. With solar panels on police cars and town buildings, it’s safe to say that Fenwick is far ahead of much of the nation when it comes to energy conservation.

With plans to install solar panels on the Public Works department as well, what could this eventually mean for the residential sector of Delaware’s beaches over the coming years… new homes for sale powered entirely by solar energy?

Read on for more on Fenwick’s “green” projects.

Fenwick Embarks on Green Projects
-Alyson Cunningham,, original article here.

The town is embarking on its latest green energy project — the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Public Works department.

While there’s no timeline yet for completion, officials hope to accept a bid package by Feb. 25.

The project is the third of its kind in recent months. In October, the town installed small solar panels in four police vehicles to cut down on gas use, and officials signed a contract last week to replace three heat pumps in Town Hall.

Town Manager Win Abbott estimates the total cost of installation will come in around $75,000 and will be funded through an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“The grant should pay for most of the expense,” he said. “The exact amount (it will cost) the town is uncertain, though.”

Several factors of the grant could drive up the cost, Abbott said, such as federal wage rates being used for labor, which are higher than local rates.

“What value comes with the bids may be higher or lower (than the grant),” he said.
Fenwick isn’t the only town going green.

Rehoboth and Bethany beaches are about to embark on major energy upgrades as well.

In Bethany Beach, town officials have approved the installation of a high-efficiency HVAC system and solar panels on Town Hall and the Nature Center.

In Rehoboth Beach, there are plans to improve insulation in town buildings, install a new roof on the convention center and add solar panels to several municipal buildings.

Vicki Carmean, chairwoman of the Fenwick Environmental Committee, said the group is glad the town is moving toward eco-friendly energy sources.

“We are all on board with green energy,” she said.

South Carolina Avenue resident Carl Lyons supports these energy-saving measures.

“I’m in favor,” he said. “Anything we can do to save energy sounds like a deal to me.”