Lightsource BP begins construction on 70MW solar project for Penn State University


Lightsource BP has begun construction on the 70MW Penn State Solar Project to supply power to Penn State University in Pennsylvania, US.

Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf joined Penn State and Lightsource BP executives and team members to celebrate the ground breaking ceremony.

Governor Tom Wolf said: “When I came to office, I set out to build up our commonwealth's energy portfolio, to diversify it and incorporate more clean, renewable sources.

“My mission to expand alternate energy sources has increased value to Pennsylvania's solar energy credits and bolstered the development of new solar projects across the commonwealth. This resurgence of solar energy will help us make big strides in reducing our carbon footprint.”

The 70MW solar project’s construction is part of a contract signed by Penn State and Lightsource BP in February this year. As per the 25-year power purchase agreement, Lightsource BP will supply clean and renewable electricity to power the university.

The solar project will provide 25% of the university’s state-wide electricity needs. The development will help the university to achieve its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2020.

It is estimated that the solar project could help the university save at least a minimum of $14m (£11.3m) during the contract term, while saving nearly 57,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is equivalent of taking away 12,100 cars off the street each year.

The construction phase will also create more than 250 jobs. The solar project is estimated to be completed by the next summer.

The solar project will be situated across three locations in Franklin County, on nearly 500 acres of leased land from local landowners and will be powered by 150,000 solar panels.

Penn State president Eric Barron said: “Penn State's expertise and commitment to research has created profound opportunities for the University to address some of the most pressing economic, environmental and sustainable challenges of our time.

“We are proud to partner with Lightsource BP on a project that will help the University meet our ambitious goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions while also saving on our utility costs.”


Image: Lightsource BP to construct solar project for Penn State University. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Schwarzenberger/Pixabay.

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