Penn State University, in partnership with Lightsource BP, has broken ground on the largest solar project in the state of Pennsylvania. The project is expected to provide 25% of the university’s electricity over the next 25 years. Lightsource BP will build, own and operate the facility and sell the electricity to Penn State under a long-term power sales contract.
Engineering firm Stantec has been hired by Rosendin, the EPC contractor, to provide electrical, structural and civil engineering design services. The project will see the installation of 150,000 solar panels across three locations spanning over 500 acres of leased land in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
“Lightsource BP has a track record of building solar farms that enhance local biodiversity and agriculture, and we’re excited to work with Stantec to advance that model with this project in Pennsylvania,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas, Lightsource BP. “Stantec’s engineering expertise, along with their focus on local environments and communities, fits well with our core objectives.”
Through assistance from Penn State researchers, the project design team is incorporating environmentally conscious design elements into the 70-MW project, such as grasses and shrubs that will help increase pollination and thwart honeybee population decline. The project will also serve as a working laboratory for students and faculty.
“Penn State and Lightsource BP are demonstrating a profound commitment to a renewable future with the addition of this 70-megawatt solar project,” said Robert Molner, Solar Subsector Leader for US Power at Stantec. “This is a monumental project for the university and the state of Pennsylvania, and we are taking great care to be mindful of local wildlife populations and minimize disruption to the land.”
Stantec has a highly experienced team from five offices collaborating on the project, which is being led out of its Wall Township, New Jersey, office. The project is expected to be completed in July 2020.
“Solar power plays a vital role in helping communities produce clean energy,” said David Bernier, Power Lead at Stantec. “Penn State University and Lightsource BP are showcasing the innovative and forward-thinking approaches needed for communities large and small across North America to meet aggressive renewable energy goals.”
Within the changing energy landscape, Stantec is addressing evolving renewable energy needs. Stantec has experience in all forms of renewable energy production including wind, solar, hydropower and energy storage.
The firm has delivered over 11,000 MW of solar energy projects across North America and internationally, working with major developers and utility clients on the development and interconnection of a wide range of utility-scale solar projects, from multi-site solar PV portfolios to record-setting concentrated photovoltaic installations. To learn more, visit.
News item from Stantec