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For Immediate Release

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Tim Stokes

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Community Leaders Unveil All-Electric Bus, Ag Pod and Solar + Battery Storage Technology at The Warehouse

WILMINGTON, Del. (June 14, 2021) – Community leaders gathered today at The Warehouse, a service partner of The WRK Group, to welcome three new clean energy technologies as part of the Energize The Warehouse initiative—a collaboration between Delmarva Power, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and many other community partners. The initiative is helping The Warehouse further its mission to revolutionize teen engagement by serving as a place for local teens to learn about clean energy, electric transportation, and sustainable farming and agriculture. 

The initiative supports vocational and educational opportunities alongside each new technology, helping teens explore the energy industry and develop the skills needed to fill future energy jobs across Delaware and the broader region. Beyond the educational component of these technologies, they also offer solutions to some of the challenges facing the community, including improving access to food, transportation, and reducing energy costs.

The Warehouse will host new three new technologies:

  • Agricultural (Ag) Pod – A sustainable indoor vertical growing environment for produce that allows communities to grow food year-round. This technology was supported by Delmarva Power, the DNREC Community Environmental Project Fund, the Electric Power Institute (EPRI) and Planting To Feed Inc.
  • Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Bus – Electric, zero emissions bus, providing a cleaner transportation option for visitors of The WRK Group, including The Warehouse, REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center. This technology was supported by Delmarva Power, Exelon, the DNREC Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund, and the University of Delaware.
  • Solar and Battery Storage System – Provides clean solar energy to The Warehouse and allows the organization to save money on energy costs. This technology was supported by Delmarva Power, the DNREC Green Energy Fund, and CMI Solar & Electric.

"This is transformational for the community," said Logan S. Herring, Sr., CEO of The WRK Group. "We are feeding our neighbors with fresh and healthy produce from the Ag Pod. We are transporting our friends and family to The Warehouse and beyond with cleaner technology. We are creating a culture where a commitment to clean energy is normal and expected. We are so thankful to all of our partners for investing their time and energy into Riverside and making us an example in clean technology."

"Combining clean, renewable energy sources with agriculture and food production, especially for high needs areas, is bringing together the best of what Delaware's future should look like. It also helps us address climate change and protect our planet," said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. "I want to thank Delmarva Power, DNREC and The WRK Group for the innovation they have shown as partners to help educate the community, especially our youth, on the benefits of sustainability and future career possibilities. This partnership is the perfect example of how we will build a stronger, healthier Delaware."

"The Teen Warehouse has, in a very short time, become a focal point for idea sharing, innovative thinking and a desire to learn," said Mayor Mike Purzycki. "The fact that it all happens in an environment that is energized by teens is both meaningful and hopeful. I am honored to be part of the announcement for this clean energy initiative and express my thanks to Delmarva Power (the City's LED lighting technology partner) and DNREC (Wilmington's partner for countless environmental achievements) for helping to transform teen learning and new skill sets into solutions that can benefit our neighborhoods and our City as a whole."

"It is inspiring to see so many partners come together in a unified front with the goal of supporting our youth's educational needs and the needs of the communities where we live and work," said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power. "Energize The Warehouse is bringing cutting-edge technologies to our community and delivering an incredible hands-on learning opportunity for our local students. I hope we can help build a foundation for their future interests in clean energy technology and help them develop into the energy leaders we need moving forward."

"Together with businesses and community partners such as The Warehouse, Delaware is transitioning to cleaner transportation and renewable energy sources that will reduce our overall greenhouse gas emissions," said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. "Additionally, not only will this project result in The Warehouse saving money on energy costs, but it will also provide opportunities for young adults and local colleges to work with solar technology and learn about its benefits."

"We're pleased to be working with The Warehouse on the addition of their new vehicle to grid bus," said Willett Kempton, professor at the University of Delaware. "This technology provides The Warehouse flexibility in their energy usage from utilizing stored energy from the bus to supporting the regional power grid. I see this technology becoming increasingly important both locally and nationally, and I'm grateful that we get to partner with such an innovative organization as The Warehouse."

"Indoor farming has great potential to provide local produce year-round using less energy and water – supporting decarbonization in the agriculture industry," said Rob Chapman, senior vice president of Energy Delivery and Customer Solutions for EPRI. "EPRI's indoor agriculture research bolsters sustainable communities while educating project collaborators, local stakeholders, and the next generation of farmers."

"We are very excited to partner with the Teen Warehouse, Delmarva Power and EPRI on the Ag Pod," said Jessica Wescott, founder and executive director of Planting to Feed. "We believe access to quality foods should be a right and not a determinant of your zip code. Emerging technologies like the Ag Pod will help to eliminate barriers to quality foods in a sustainable way." 

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