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Pennsyvania Solar Energy Update

Community Energy to build Pennsylvania’s largest solar project to date

On May 12, 2011 Community Energy and Exelon Generation announced the close of a 15-year contract to purchase the power and renewable energy credits generated by Community Energy’s 6 MW solar array planned for Lancaster, PA. This 25,000 panel project is the largest to date of the nearly 4,000 solar systems currently installed in Pennsylvania. The project is estimated to create about 75 jobs during its six months of construction. Once completed, the solar system will provide enough clean energy to meet the demand of approximately 1,000 homes and avoid the annual carbon emissions of about 676 passenger cars.

Philadelphia installs first city-owned solar array

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter celebrated completion of the first city-owned solar array during a ceremony on April 25. Along with other members of city government, the mayor flipped the switch to power up the project, located at the Philadelphia Water Department’s Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant. Dynamic Solar, LLC installed the 250 kW system with help from CETCO Contracting Services and Nucero Electric.

Dynamic Solar President Mike Perillo noted that “the City of Philadelphia is setting an example for Pennsylvania in seizing this opportunity to meet the state’s growing demand for energy with solar.” The project is the first of many that will allow Greenworks Philadelphia to reach its stated goal of generating 20 percent of the city’s electricity via alternative energy sources by 2015.

DOE report finds that solar PV systems increase value of homes

Research from The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concludes that installing solar PV systems increase the value of homes when sold. The study analyzed 72,000 homes sold between 2000 and 2009, with 2,000 of the homes possessing a solar system. The results found that the premium achieved during the sale of the house generally met the previous owner’s expenditure on the installation of the system.

GlaxoSmithKline completes yet another solar project

GlaxoSmithKline recently installed a 406 kW solar PV array on the roof of its Administrative Center in Upper Providence, PA. Completed by Tecta Solar, the array consists of 1,848 panels and is one of the largest rooftop systems in Pennsylvania. This is one of many solar projects the company is bringing online as part of its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050.

EIA reports dramatic growth for solar power

A recent issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s “Electric Power Monthly” found a 343% increase in solar electric generation in January 2011 compared to the previous year. Renewable generation as a whole is up by 15.6% while wind energy generation increased by 27.6%, hydroelectric by 16.2% and geothermal by 4.6%. By comparison, traditional sources of electricity generation increased far more slowly. Renewables surpassed the 10% mark for portion of U.S. energy generation over the past year and stood at 11.2% of total generation in January

SOURCE: ´╗┐Citizens for Pennyslvania’s Future (Penn Future) May 2011

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