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Penn State Now Purchasing Renewable Electricity From Solar Farms

source: Lightsource bp web

Penn State recently began purchasing renewable energy from three recently built solar farms in Franklin County, according to a university release.

The purchase is part of a larger goal the university has to be more sustainable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In early 2019, Penn State signed the 70-megawatt Power Purchase Agreement. Under the contract, Penn State agreed to purchase 100% of the electricity generated by Lightsource BP projects.

The solar farms will produce 25% of Penn State’s electricity across all its campuses over the next 25 years. Lightsource BP, a London-based company whose mission is to bring solar energy to rural areas, should help Penn State complete one of the largest solar project in Pennsylvania. The project will produce 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

“At a time when we are facing so many great challenges, the beginning of this 25-year power purchase agreement offers a bright moment and a true reflection of the University’s ability and commitment to not just grow, but to succeed in a way that enhances the health and sustainability of the planet and future generations,” David Gray, senior vice president for finance and business and treasurer for Penn State, said.

The project will also lower the university’s greenhouse gas emissions while also saving $14 million over the 25-year project contract. This change will help Penn State’s goal of reducing its gas emissions by 35% and help Pennsylvania’s greater goal of reducing its emissions by 80% by the year 2050.

Penn State students from varying majors and backgrounds will have access to opportunities within the solar project, such as research programs and internships. The project will also set an example for clean, sustainable energy and innovative measures being taken by a large university.

“From planning to implementation and beyond, our students were granted firsthand, once-in-a-lifetime access to innovative learning and research opportunities related to the expanding renewable energy industry,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a release. “These living lab experiences prepare students for new career possibilities, and a brighter future for all of us.”

Penn State business marketing students helped facilitate a virtual ribbon-cutting event earlier this year. Viewers can also take a virtual tour where they can learn about the project and learn about each solar farm.

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About the Author

Aubrey Miller

Aubrey is a third-year landscape architecture major and a writer for Onward State. She is from North Carolina, but can't stand country music. Aubrey is obsessed with her four cats, and some would say too obsessed. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @aubreymillerr to see her cat posts.

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