Construction on a new 20 acre solar energy farm in Sussex County is underway.

Delaware Electric Cooperative broke ground on the facility being built on East Trap Pond west of Georgetown. The project's 16,000 solar panels are capable of producing four megawatts of power to members of Delaware's member-owned utility. Four megawatts is enough to supply power to 500 homes.

“We are excited to build a solar energy farm that will reduce carbon emissions and provide members with a sustainable source of power for years to come,” said Bill Andrew, CEO of Delaware Electric Cooperative.

In addition to creating 40 temporary jobs, Andrew says the project is also boosting the local economy; Motech Americas in Newark manufactured the solar panels.

The $14 million solar energy farm is expected to be completed and in operation by May, and could eventually expand to 40 acres with the ability to produce seven megawatts of power. The solar project helps the co-op comply with state mandates requiring utilities to invest in renewable energy.