On Tuesday, February 5, Penn State Lightsource and BP announced a partnership to support the university's Strategic Plan, which identifies managing the planet's resources as one of its top priorities.
In the fall of 2018, the University of Pennsylvania signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with BP to advance its goal of meeting the renewable energy targets outlined in Action Plan 3.0 on Climate Change by 2042. In autumn 2018, a solar field on Orchard Road will be signed, which is expected to provide around 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar energy. Signature of the agreement to install a solar park with a capacity of approximately 2,500 MW for renewable energy generation on Orchards Road. Signature of the agreement for a solar field with an capacity of approximately 3,600 MW (6,400 MW) in Orchestra Park on the campus of Penn State University Park in Penn City, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 2019. Signature of the agreement for an OnsiteSolar power plant, which will supply approximately 2.5 million watts (4,300 MW). In autumn 2018, the purchase of the solar power plants on site, provided by BP, a subsidiary of BP Power Systems, Inc., a global leader in the production and distribution of solar energy, was signed.
In autumn 2018, the OPP Alternative Energy Development Group signed an agreement for a solar field on Orchard Road that will enable the generation of around 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy.
The Pennsylvania-based Community Energy project is expected to be the first of its kind in the United States and one of the largest solar projects in North America. Nationwide, Community Energy has financed and developed 1,200 MW of solar power, including more than 2,000 MW on the University of Pennsylvania campus in University Park, and is financing and developing another 1.2 MW in New York City and another 500 MW in Pennsylvania.
Overall, other cloud-covered regions have had tremendous success with solar energy, and new technologies continue to improve costs and efficiency. Solar energy could bring more to the region - jobs in the region are paid for, and there are various incentives and methods to help PA residents switch to solar energy. Many organizations recognize the economic benefits of switching to solar and put Berks in the top 10 of the most solar-friendly regions in the country.
In rural areas, solar energy and battery systems can represent a great opportunity to be energy independent. Solar energy has the math on its side - a private solar plant in Pennsylvania would pay for itself in less than three years, generating a net profit of $21,369. Over time, this will yield a net benefit of more than $1,000 per year in savings on the cost of an integrated solar panel array.
Proceeds from the sale of solar power to Penn State will be repaid to the SEF in the form of tax credits, grants, and other tax-free incentives.
According to an analysis carried out with watts, the solar plant is expected to produce more than 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. The solar project will provide enough electricity to supply about 1.5 million homes and businesses in the region.
Penn State has entered into a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), whereby it will purchase the electricity generated by the solar array for the entire term of the agreement from the PA Power & Light Company (PAPL), a Penn State subsidiary. The production will be leased to the university for three years, after which it will have an option for another five years.
Penn intends to eliminate all Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Credits generated under the project, meaning that the solar power generated will be subject to the state's Renewable Energy Tax Credit (REC) program and will be a key factor in achieving campus CO2 reduction targets. The Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) has teamed up with Penn State's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEP) to finance the purchase of solar energy from PA Power & Light Company (PAPL) for the first five years.
In addition, the 2015 Penn State Class gift is a solar panel that provides power to a bus stop near Beaver Stadium. It is also the first of its kind in the state and part of a series of solar panels that serve bus stops around Beaver Stadium, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania and the University College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). In fact, the solar system that powers the bus - which stops at Beaver's stadiums - will power the entire campus for the next five years.
In 2018, Penn State completed the first phase of a $1.5 million solar system on the campus of the University College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). This is part of the ongoing effort to make the living laboratories more energy efficient and accessible to students and faculty.