Pennsylvania builds solar power facility
Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell said multi-million
dollar renewable energy projects, like the solar electricity generation
plant he helped break ground on, reinforce Pennsylvania’s leadership
in one of the nation’s fastest growing industries and highlight potential
for economic development.
“When this facility is up and running, likely by September
or October of this year, it will be among the largest in the country,
and certainly the largest east of Arizona,” said Governor Rendell during
groundbreaking ceremonies for the Exelon-EPURON Solar Center.
The $20 million Exelon-EPURON Solar Center will feature
16,500 solar panels on a 16.5-acre tract of land adjacent to Waste Management’s
Upon completion, the solar plant will produce approximately
3,700 megawatt hours of power annually, which is enough to meet the energy
requirements of about 400 homes. At this output, emission levels of carbon
dioxide and sulfur dioxide will be reduced by the equivalent of planting
33 acres of trees every year or taking more than 440 cars off the road
The facility is owned by EPURON LLC, a subsidiary of
the world’s largest solar integration company, Conergy AG, which has
its North American headquarters in Pennsylvania. Another Pennsylvania-based
Conergy subsidiary, Conergy Systems USA, formerly SunTechnics, will build
the solar center.
The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act requires
that 18 percent of all energy generated in the state come from alternative
and renewable sources by 2021, including 0.5 percent from solar. Approximately
850 megawatts of additional solar capacity are expected to be installed
in the state by 2021.
Exelon Generation Company LLC made a financial commitment
to the project through a 20-year power purchase agreement for the energy
produced, recognizing the environmental importance of solar energy, according
to Kenneth Cornew, president of Exelon Power Team.
Governor Rendell called on the state Senate to pass
separate pieces of legislation approved by the House of Representatives.
House Bill 1202 was passed by the House in June and would replace nearly
1 billion gallons of imported fuels with homegrown alternatives. Earlier
this month, the House passed Special Session House Bill 1 calling for
$850 million in new state investments to grow advanced energy sectors
by $3.5 billion, create 13,000 jobs, and provide incentives for consumers
to use energy more efficiently.