Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Construction begins on Pennsylvania's largest solar farm

Posts for solar panels at what will be the largest solar farm in Pennsylvania

Community Energy Solar says it has closed financing and commenced construction of its six megawatt Keystone Solar Project south of the city of Lancaster, Pa.

The retail-marketing division of Community Energy Solar's parent, Radnor, Pa.-based Community Energy Inc., has committed to buying power from the project. So has Exelon Generation, the Kennett Square, Pa., subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. Both also helped finance the project.

Other customers for power from the Keystone Solar Project include the Philadelphia Phillies and Franklin and Marshall College, which is located in Lancaster.

GroSolar of White River Junction, Vt., is the general contractor on the project, which is targeted for a fall completion. About 50 construction, electrical, and other jobs are expected to be created at the site this summer.

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In a news release, Community Energy Solar said that the project's solar panels are being installed on driven posts without concrete to avoid soil disturbance. Cover vegetation will be used to preserve and improve organic soil content.

Lancaster Township Supervisor Chair, Scott Kreider said: “They designed the project so that the land can be used for agriculture again when the project is complete.” 

About 20,000 Canadian Solar 290 watt modules are being installed on fixed tilt, ground-mounted aluminum racking and will be interconnected to the PPL Electric grid at 12 kilovolts with AE inverters and platforms.

The Project is expected to supply about 7.5 million kilowatt hours per year of solar generated electricity under a fifteen-year power purchase agreement with
Exelon. Project developers say that annual environmental benefit equals that of about 3,000 zero-emission passenger vehicles or 285,000 newly planted trees growing for ten years.

The solar project received financing and funding from the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, the Sustainable Energy Fund and the State of Pennsylvania. 

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