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Allen Harim turns to solar at Harbeson plant

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Will generate 11 percent of plant's power

A multimillion dollar solar farm is expected to supply about 11 percent of the energy used at Allen Harim Foods LLC's Harbeson poultry plant, company officials said.

Company officials broke ground Nov. 9 on a 6-acre parcel to make way for solar farm near its Harbeson facility. Allen Harim has signed a 20-year lease agreement with SolarSense, an affiliate of Alternative Energy Development Group in Pennsylvania, to install enough solar panels to produce about 2.3 million kilowatts of power per hour.

"This project is in line with our strategic goals of environmental sustainability moving forward in Delaware," said Allen Harim CEO Steve Evans in a press release.

The solar panels are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,500 metric tons per year, the release states.

The project will be owned and operated by Onyx Renewable Partners LP, and the system will be interconnected to Delmarva Power. Allen Harim will purchase power produced by the solar panels, expected to cover more than four football fields when installed, and is expected to save about 16 percent in energy costs during the first year of operation.

State Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small commended Allen Harim for its energy-efficient project.

"From 2008 to present, Delaware has been able to increase its use of solar energy by more than 3,000 percent, thanks to the leadership and commitment of companies like Allen Harim and thousands of residents who are relying on cleaner, renewable power," he said in a press release.

Construction is expected to take about three months, and company officials said they plan to hire local contractors and employees wherever possible.

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Original Publication Date: November 27, 2015

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