Penn State Engineering - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar  -  March 24, 2021

Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute aids state in solar generation

The Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSEI) announced March 23 that it is supporting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s effort to establish more solar power capacity as nine of the state agencies it services will participate in the commonwealth’s new program.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently pledged that 50% of the commonwealth’s electricity will come from the new Pennsylvania Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy (PULSE). To kick off the project, seven new solar arrays will be built across six counties by Lightsource bp. These systems will provide 100% clean power to 434 accounts across 16 Pennsylvania state agencies, including the nine serviced by PSFEI.

The U.S. EPA estimates that shifting the commonwealth’s electricity supply to 50% solar could avoid 157,800 metric tons of CO2.

“This is an exciting time for both PSFEI and our energy clients,” Devin Pennebaker, PSFEI energy procurement manager, said in a statement. “This solar contract will help the commonwealth make tremendous strides as it works to satisfy the requirements outlined by the executive order Gov. Wolf signed in 2019 to address climate change and promote energy conservation.”

PSFEI helped the state analyze solar offers that were submitted for the program following Gov. Wolf’s announcement of the program. PSFEI provides services in energy management, facilities engineering and educational services to state agencies, the federal government and some nonprofit organizations.

The program is being facilitated by Constellation and the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. Construction should begin Jan. 1, 2023 and the commonwealth will source solar electricity through the contract through the end of 2037.

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