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In early 2019, Lightsource bp and Pennsylvania State University entered a 25 year contract for output from 70MW of in-state solar projects. The three-site project, located in Franklin County, PA, will offset 25% of the university’s electricity use with clean, sustainable power, demonstrate the University’s climate leadership and will provide extensive educational opportunities.
The sites, Whitetail Solar 1, 2 and 3, are spread over 500 acres in three different locations in Franklin County, PA. The projects will be built using bifacial panels and single-axis trackers, cutting edge solar technology designed to maximise energy production and boost the efficiency of the installations.
This portfolio of offsite solar projects is the largest solar PPA in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and benefits from in-state compliance SRECs. The SRECs and renewable energy generated by the project will be delivered to Pennsylvania State University, one of the country’s largest and most esteemed universities.
Through the University’s Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Lightsource bp, student internships will be available to students at all Penn State campuses, both during the construction of the project and after the solar array is built. The internships will cater to students from many disciplines, including engineering, the sciences and business. Along with the internships, Penn State students and researchers from all disciplines will have an opportunity to propose their own research projects involving the solar array.
Protect and conserve
We’re constructing the project in a regenerative fashion, working not only to minimise damage to the ecosystem on the land but also to improve soil health and create wildlife habitats. In addition to helping conserve the land, Penn State and Lightsource bp included terms in the PPA to provide greater opportunities for both community and university engagement. The team is creating a guide to developing a regenerative project, which the University can use in teaching and engaging external communities, furthering Penn State’s land-grant mission to serve the broader community.
A greener future
The project will provide 25% of Penn State’s state-wide electricity use, will enable the university to achieve its goal of a 35% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2020, and supports Pennsylvania’s state goal of procuring renewable energy to offset 40% of the Commonwealth’s annual electricity use.
The development of three sites generates the equivalent carbon emissions savings of taking 13,350 passenger vehicles off the road, and is designed to support the University’s Strategic Plan, which cites stewardship of the planet’s resources as a key priority.
For more information, see our project page.