GHG Emissions, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 5, 2019

Penn State to add 70MW offsite solar

Penn State announced the development of 70 megawatts of large-scale offsite solar to support the University's Strategic Plan, which cites stewardship of the planet's resources as a key priority. The project to install large-scale solar arrays will provide 25% of Penn State's state-wide electricity requirements over a 25-year term.

A statement from developer BP Lighthouse described the project as a large-scale ground-mounted solar array using over 150,000 solar panels in three locations encompassing roughly 500 acres of Franklin County land near Penn State's Mont Alto campus. The project, targeted for completion in July 2020, is tied for the largest solar project in the state of Pennsylvania.

"This project is a win for Penn State, a win for Pennsylvania and a win for the environment," said Rob Cooper, senior director of energy and engineering in the Penn State Office of Physical Plant. "Among the many benefits of this significant investment in solar-based electric generation include cost savings, lower greenhouse gas emissions in support of Penn State's aggressive sustainability goals, economic development with job creation and income for host communities through development of the Pennsylvania solar market."

The solar project's development goals and objectives, according to the statement, include:

  • Lowering GHG emissions by the equivalent of 57,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking 15,250 internal combustion engine vehicles off the road
  • Reducing the University's annual electric costs
  • Providing long-term budget certainty for a portion of the University's electric generation requirements
  • Continuing support of the University's Strategic Plan

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