Penn State solar
metric tons of CO2 saved per year
fuel-burning cars taken off road (equivalent)
of Penn State's annual power demand supplied
local jobs created
Site selection & preliminary design
Permitting & environmental studies
Land management & biodiversity planning
Final engineering, financing & construction
Operation & maintenance
Decommissioning & recycling
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.
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.
Information & resources
We’ve put together a collection of resources for anyone who’d like to know more about our Penn State solar project:
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute
Penn State’s Office of the Physical Plant
Download Information Leaflet
Intern and research opportunities
Research and engagement opportunities
Pennsylvanian farmers switching to solar crops
Article in EnerG Magazine (page 6)
Virtual ribbon cutting ceremony
Sheep and solar panels: Using solar sites for pastureland
Savings from solar energy exceeds University’s expectations
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
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
We are always on hand to assist with any enquiries. You can contact us via email or phone our customer services firstname.lastname@example.org
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