Coal Giant Pennsylvania to Power Half Its Government With Solar

Pennsylvania, in the heart of U.S. shale country, agreed to source almost half of its state government’s electricity through seven new solar arrays.

The arrays will total 191 megawatts and will be built in six counties in the state, according to a statement Monday. They’re expected to go into operation in January 2023. The project is the largest solar commitment by any government in the U.S. announced to date, the statement said.

The move shows how even some states that are economically dependent on fossil fuels are still willing to increase the use of renewable energy as part of the fight against climate change. The decision comes from the battleground state’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf. Pennsylvania is the third-largest coal producer in the U.S.

“With over 85% of Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from energy production and use, pursuing clean energy and energy efficiency at the enterprise scale, as the state government solar procurement demonstrates, will make a big impact,” Patrick McDonnell, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, said in the statement.

Lightsource BP will build, own and operate the solar arrays. Exelon Corp. unit Constellation will buy the energy and renewable-energy credits from the projects. Constellation has a 15-year power-supply arrangement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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