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More than 10 million doses of COVID vaccine have been administered in PA. All adults and adolescents age 12-17 are eligible for vaccination starting April 13. Learn more.

ICYMI: Wolf Administration Makes Historic Commitment to Solar Power

March 23, 2021

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf announced a major clean energy initiative to purchase nearly half of the electricity used by state government from solar energy. Part of the governor’s GreenGov initiative, Pennsylvania PULSE (Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy) is the largest commitment to solar energy by any government in the U.S. announced to date.

The project will go into operation on January 1, 2023, with seven new solar energy arrays totaling 191-megawatts. It will create 400-plus jobs and begin lowering carbon dioxide emissions statewide by 157,800 metric tons each year – the equivalent of the emissions from nearly 27,000 homes or taking 34,000 cars off the roads.

Check out the coverage:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Nearly half of Pennsylvania government electricity to come from solar power by 2023

Gov. Tom Wolf sees a bright future for solar power in Pennsylvania and Monday announced a new clean energy initiative that will build seven new solar arrays, enough to supply about half of state government electricity.

The project, touted by the governor’s office as the largest solar commitment by any state government in the U.S., is projected to produce a total of 191 megawatts of electricity for government buildings, and is scheduled to go into operation on Jan. 1, 2023.

The solar arrays are part of the governor’s previously announced GreenGov initiative, Pennsylvania PULSE — Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy — which set a goal of obtaining at least 40% of electricity from clean energy generated in the state. The project announced Monday would exceed that goal.

“Pennsylvania has been a national energy leader for more than one hundred years. As we continue to diversify our grid with clean renewable sources of energy, we want to maintain Pennsylvania’s leadership position and bring the associated economic, health and environmental benefits to all Pennsylvanians,” the governor said in a statement.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Pennsylvania plans to generate 50% of government building energy through solar, Gov. Wolf says

Environmental groups welcomed Pennsylvania’s solar power purchase agreement.

“Going solar is a triple win for Pennsylvania: it’s good for our planet, good for our health, and good for our pocketbooks,” said David Masur, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group PennEnvironment. “This smart decision is a stark reminder of the opportunity offered by going solar. Harnessing more of the sun’s energy means cleaner air, a more stable climate, more resilient communities and an energy source we can depend on that’s virtually pollution-free.”

PennFuture’s Rob Altenburg, called the agreement “both historic and sorely needed” to reduce climate change.

Mark Szybist, with the Natural Resources Defense Council said, “Pennsylvania is showing the rest of the nation how to fight climate change, create jobs, and save taxpayers money — all at the same time.”

WGAL-TV: Gov. Tom Wolf announces plan to produce 50% of state government electricity through solar energy

According to the governor, the project is the largest solar commitment by any government in the U.S. announced to date.

Solar arrays will be built in seven locations in six counties: York, Juniata, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder.

The total 191-megawatt project is expected to deliver 361,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year.

“This clean, environmentally-friendly solar energy will lower our annual carbon dioxide emission statewide by 157,000 metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking more than 34,000 cars off the road,” General Services Secretary Curt Topper said.

The Daily Item: New statewide solar project to include Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties

Mark Szybist, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council said Pennsylvania is providing a model strategy that other states should mirror.

“Pennsylvania is showing the rest of the nation how to fight climate change, create jobs and save taxpayers money — all at the same time,” he said. “This procurement will supply roughly half of the state’s government operations with clean, home-grown energy that is insulated from price shock from natural gas and will not exacerbate the damage that fracking has already brought.”

Secretary of General Service Curt Topper said the biggest comparable projects Pennsylvania officials have been able to identify in other states only amounted to about 30-50 mw of power.

“We’re pretty confident that at 190 we’re well out in front of other state governments,” Topper said.

When completed, the total 191-megawatt project is expected to deliver 361,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, supplying 100 percent of electricity for 434 accounts across 16 state agencies, or about half the electricity used by the state government, according to the governor’s office. The solar project will create 400-plus jobs and begin lowering carbon dioxide emissions statewide by 157,800 metric tons each year, the equivalent of the emissions from nearly 27,000 homes or taking 34,000 cars off the roads, the governor’s office reported.

“We’re doing it all through the dollars that we would have spent anyway for electricity generation,” Topper said

State Impact: Wolf Administration to buy half of state government’s electricity from solar

The projects spread across six counties will add 191 megawatts of solar energy in the state, which analysts say will nearly double how much is produced statewide now.

Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper noted the largest direct buys of solar energy in other states are between 30-50 megawatts.

“We’re pretty confident that at 190 we’re well out in front of other state governments,” Topper said.

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