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Solar has its day in the sun in Pennsylvania | Business




On a sparkling and sunny day, three senior Pennsylvania officials discussed an ambitious solar power initiative that the state touts as the government’s largest solar power commitment to date in the United States. United States.

At a press briefing Monday morning, they described seven solar panel projects that will be built in six counties and will produce around 50 percent of state governments’ electricity.

None of these counties are within a four-hour drive of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Secretaries Patrick McDonnell (Environmental Protection Agency), Curt Topper (General Services) and Cindy Adams Dunn (Conservation and Natural Resources) elaborated on the seven projects, which are expected to provide a cumulative output of 191 megawatts. The projects are part of the Tom Wolfs GreenGov government initiative called Pennsylvania PULSE (Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy), and are scheduled to start operating on January 1, 2023.

These networks are to be built in seven locations in six counties: Columbia, Juniata, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and York. Kevin Smith, CEO of LightSource bp, a global developer of large-scale solar projects, said during the briefing that his company will build, own and operate the Pennsylvania Bays, all of which will be built on farmland, which will not require remediation thereafter. .

He said these projects are in different stages of development and will total 1,800 to 2,000 acres. Smith added that not only will solar panels reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but they will create around 400 jobs and attract millions of dollars in investment.

The DEP said in a press release that when all the arrays are operational, they will provide all electricity for 434 accounts through 16 state agencies, about half of what the state government uses. DEP added that the seven projects will also begin to reduce carbon emissions in Pennsylvania by 157,800 metric tons per year, which is equivalent to the emissions of 34,000 cars.

Wolf, who did not attend the virtual briefing, said in a statement: Pennsylvania has been a national energy leader for over 100 years. As we continue to diversify our grid with clean renewable energy sources, we want to maintain Pennsylvanias’ leadership position and bring the associated economic, health and environmental benefits to all Pennsylvanians.

General Services contracted with Constellation, a state utility commission licensed power generation provider, to secure a 15-year fixed-price supply agreement.

DEP McDonnell said: With over 85% of Pennsylvanias’ greenhouse gas emissions from energy production and use, the pursuit of clean energy and energy efficiency at the company-wide … will have a big impact. At the same time, research shows that the clean energy sector is one of the top creators of quality jobs in Pennsylvania.

The DEP said that from 2017 to 2019, the clean energy industries created nearly 7,800 jobs in Pennsylvania.

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