70MW powering 25% of Penn State University’s state-wide electricity needs

Penn State is one of the largest and most esteemed U.S. universities, educating 100,000 students on 24 campuses across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In February 2019, Penn State and Lightsource bp announced that they’d signed a 25-year contract for clean, renewable electricity to power the university.

On 15th October 2020, Lightsource bp and Penn State held a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the successful completion and operation of the solar project.


Virtual ribbon cutting

  • KtMmLLBz-marker

    Site selection & preliminary design

  • 4Ti0zG5k-design

    Stakeholder outreach

  • 9tguFMyH-planning

    Permitting & environmental studies

  • RcLrW4w7-discharge

    Land management & biodiversity planning

  • zq4W7u03-construction

    Final engineering, financing & construction

  • Operation

    Operation & maintenance

  • Decommissioning & recyling


The agreement is for 70 megawatts of large-scale offsite solar, providing 25% of Penn State’s state-wide electricity requirements. This development will enable the university to achieve its goal of a 35% greenhouse gas reduction by 2020, while saving $14 million on their electricity bills and providing long-term budget certainty. The project also supports Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), which mandates that a certain percentage of electricity be generated by solar photovoltaics, helping to diversify the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio and increase security with locally generated power.

One of the largest in the state, the project is comprised of over 150,000 solar panels installed across three sites, encompassing approximately 500 acres of land in Franklin County, outside of Chambersburg, and near Penn State’s Mont Alto campus. The project will be 100% financed, built, maintained and operated by Lightsource bp – commercial operation of the first site commenced in December 2019 with full project completion expected by summer 2020.

Both Penn State and Lightsource bp are incredibly proud of this solar project, and the opportunities it will offer both organisations, Penn State students and the local communities.

  • 70MWᴅᴄ
    /53.5MWᴀᴄ capacity
  • 57,000
    metric tons of CO2 saved per year
  • 12,102
    fuel-burning cars taken off road (equivalent)
  • 25%
    of Penn State's annual power demand supplied
  • 250
    local jobs created

Videos of our Penn State Solar project

Take a look at the videos below to find out more about the project, from construction to creating jobs and more.


Penn State and Lightsource bp’s partnership and unique approach

The project will supply 25% of Penn State's energy needs.


Site #1 of the project entered commercial operation in December 2019

Watch timelapse footage of the construction of the solar farm powering Penn State.


Job creation at the Penn State solar project

Our projects create jobs and opportunities, and support the local economy.


Penn State powers up with solar

Virtual ribbon cutting ceremony



Find out more about our Responsible Solar approach


We’ve received lots of interest in our Penn State Solar Project, so we’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions, and their answers.


Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more about this project, email info@lightsourcebp.com, or fill out the form below. We aim to get back to you within five working days.

In the community

We construct our solar farms with a view to improving soil health, fostering biodiversity, and strengthening local economies. From ecological assessments to community engagement, we do our best to create solar farms that local communities can be proud of.

Learn more about our communities

Take a look at some of our other projects

We work with businesses and communities around the world to create low carbon, solar energy projects that make a difference.

See more of our USA solar projects