Federal grant gives electrical boost to Dover business park

By Matt McDonald
Posted 5/28/22

DOVER — Federal funding of $5 million will go toward a new electrical substation providing power to a business park — as well as backup power to city homes — Sens. Tom Carper and …

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Federal grant gives electrical boost to Dover business park

Posted

DOVER — Federal funding of $5 million will go toward a new electrical substation providing power to a business park — as well as backup power to city homes — Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both D-Del., announced Friday.

Most of the lots in Garrison Oak Business and Technology Park in northeastern Dover are sitting unused, according to Mayor Robin Christiansen.

The city’s electric director, Paul Waddell, said that’s because there hasn’t been enough power on site to attract businesses. When the substation is completed, tentatively in 2023, the approximately 100 megawatt or more of additional power should be enough to serve new clients and “provide redundancy” to area homes and businesses, he said.

“This is a business park that has been waiting for a critical investment to help provide the key additional resource to attract state of the art manufacturing,” Sen. Coons said.

The land was originally intended for a semiconductor plant when it was purchased more than two decades ago under the administration of a then-Gov. Carper. That plan stalled out.

Sen. Carper drew on the nearby Dover Air Force Base as inspiration for a plane analogy. There’s something called the speed of refusal, he said — the decision point on the runway where a pilot has achieved enough speed to either take off or pull back down to the ground.

With this announcement, this project — which has been going down the runway, slowly, slowly, slowly — we’re gonna push the throttle forward,” Sen. Carper said. “With the announcement of this $5 million to help provide for the electrification of this land and on this industrial park, this baby’s gonna take off and fly.”

A press release from Sen. Carper’s office said the funding for the project was appropriated through the omnibus bill passed in March. It was a joint effort between Sens. Carper and Coons as well as Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., the statement said.

“We are very appreciative of the 5-million-dollar grant that was made possible by our federal delegation,” Mayor Christiansen said in the press release. “By building more circuits on the east side of Dover, it allows increased resiliency to the electric grid and makes available additional opportunities for growth.”

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