Hiking Trails

Proposed solar farm next to Sandhill Fields walking and running trail | New

GEORGETOWNDel.- The open space near the Sandhill Fields walking and running trail may be equipped with solar panels in the near future.

The President of the Sussex Sports Center Foundation, Joseph Schell, owns the 71 acres of land. Seventeen of them would be used for solar panels.

Schell plans to lease the land to TurningPoint Energy to install the panels and install the electrical.

Development manager Jordan Belknap says the goal is to save money for about 800 Delmarva Power customers and that the lease money stays on the property.

“The lease rent is an ongoing annual payment to Mr. Schell and it increases over time and he will use one hundred per cent of that land revenue for the Sussex Sports Foundation (Center),” Belknap said.

Neighbors who live on Murrays Lane have mixed feelings about the project. They say they’re glad it’s not a development to speak of, but the signs can be an eyesore they can see from their backyard.

Schell promised to be a good neighbor.

The ability to complete a project like this comes from the passage of a Senate bill that removed barriers to renewable energy.

“Being able to make it accessible is something that is important to everyone,” said State Senator Ernie Lopez. “Especially those who are maybe struggling a bit right now, as an alternative form of energy because fuel prices are so high.”

This is all just a proposal at this time, as some parts of the application need to be approved.

The Georgetown Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the city council approve the project. The next council meeting will take place on Monday, November 14. It is not known if the project will be on the agenda.