renewable energy

Pa. Vows to Use 50% Solar for Government Energy Consumption by 2023

Gov. Tom Wolf said the state has signed a contract with a European energy company to buy solar energy created at seven arrays to be built in six counties.

Seven solar farms to generate 191 megawatts of energy will be built in six Pennsylvania counties over the next two years to provide roughly half of Pennsylvania's government power consumption, Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday.

A European energy company, Lighthouse bp, "will build, own and operate the solar arrays, creating hundreds of new construction jobs for Pennsylvanians and bringing long term economic benefits to local communities through increased tax revenues," the governor's office said in a statement.

Lighthouse bp is a subsidiary of BP, the British oil and gas giant.

The cost for the 191 megawatts in annual energy production from the solar arrays will be paid for by the state, Wolf said. That clean energy would go into the existing power grid.

It's enough energy for "434 government service accounts across 16 state agencies, or about half the electricity used by state government," the governor's office said.

The City of Philadelphia agreed to a similar deal in 2018, when Mayor Kenney signed an agreement to a lease for a solar array that would provide 22% of its government energy needs.

It was one of the biggest deals to date for a local government when it was signed.

That 70-megawatt array was built on open space in Adams County in south central Pennsylvania, outside Gettysburg. The city signed the 20-year power purchase agreement with a Radnor-based company called Community Energy Solar.

The Pennsylvania deal will provided a fixed energy cost for 15 years through a company called Constellation, which is licensed by the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission as an electric generation supplier.

The solar arrays are expected to begin generating power by Jan. 1, 2023.

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